Work Song (Fiction: by Ivan Doig) c. 2010

Summary: Morrie Morgan, the itinerant teacher of a one room 1909 Montana schoolhouse, disappeared from the lives of his former pupils at the end of The Whistling Season. Ten years later, Morrie is still running from the demon’s of his past; the Chicago mob has never forgotten the money they are owed, and Morrie cannot forget the sweetheart who left him for a farmer. Starting over once again, he finds himself back in Montana, this time in the city of Butte. Beneath the ‘Richest Hill on Earth’, with the turmoil of a miner’s strike brewing, Morrie must once and for all confront the shadows that have dogged him across ten years and thousands of miles.

Review: Doig is always at his best when his books are strongly grounded in the Montana of his youth, and this is no exception. Butte comes vividly to life, and the always witty Morrie makes for an absolutely stellar lead. Readers who remember him from The Whistling Season will not want to miss this one. For newcomers, there is sufficient back story to keep you going and a gem of a story that should not be missed.

Read-a-likes: If you haven’t picked up Whistling Season yet, then definitely do so. If you enjoyed the western setting, you might also try Annie Proulx or Larry McMurtry. Also perhaps worth a look are Hard Winter by Johnny Boggs or the ‘Holmes on the Range’  mysteries of Steve Hockensmith.

Availability: This item is available from the Lake Bluff Public Library as a book and an eBook. Click here to check on availability!

Review by Eric.


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