Heart Spring Mountain by Robin MacArthur

Heart Spring Mountain

In this evocative first novel, a young woman returns to her rural Vermont hometown in the wake of a devastating storm to search for her missing mother and unravel a powerful family secretIt’s August 2011, and Tropical Storm Irene has just wreaked havoc on Vermont, flooding rivers and destroying homes. One thousand miles away—while tending bar in New Orleans—Vale receives a call and is told that her mother, Bonnie, has disappeared. Despite a...

Details Heart Spring Mountain

TitleHeart Spring Mountain
Release DateJan 9th, 2018
GenreFiction, Mystery, Family, Literary Fiction, Novels, Abandoned

Reviews Heart Spring Mountain

  • Diane S ☔
    4.5 This is the kind of book I best like to read. Quiet books that tell the story of land,, nature and the strong people who are tied to this place. The mountains of Vermont, the book begins with a hurricane and heroin. Bonnie has just shot up when the hurricane hits, her daughter n New Orleans, making a living as a barista and part time dancer. She receives a phone call that her mother is missing, and leaves immediately for home.Strong women, un...
  • Angela M
    Complex characters, complicated relationships, women living seemingly simple , quiet lives in the woods. A narrative structure that can pose at first a challenge, trying to keep tract of the characters in the present and past since there are multiple time lines, multiple narratives. Yet I enjoyed the challenge and found myself vested in them. In this story of this place called Heart Spring Mountain and the family who lives there or have left ther...
  • Karen
    Tropical Storm Irene has hit Vermont in 2011, rural areas are all torn up, and a woman named Bonnie, a heroin addict has gone missing. Her daughter Vale, who has been living in New Orleans for eight years, comes back home to Vermont and Heart Spring Mountain, the place that her ancestors have built their homes and lived since the 1800’s, to look for her. Vale reconnects with family and learns a lot of their history and secrets. The book goes ba...
  • Jen
    "Hurricanes and heroin. Flooding and Fentanyl." A good depiction of what has happened to this land and some of its inhabitants.The place is Vermont and it has been recently hit by Hurricane Irene. A doped up mother has gone missing -last seen walking along the river in the storm, arms outstretched.A daughter comes home in the search for her. The decades of the women who have lived here, Heart Spring Mountain, come to life. The struggles, the chal...
  • Cheri
    Returning home in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, August of 2011, a young woman named Vale leaves her job at a bar in New Orleans to search for, and hopefully find, her mother Bonnie, who has not been seen since the storm.They haven’t seen each other in years, Vale can’t even remember the last time she had spoken to Bonnie, and yet when she hears that her mother is missing she doesn’t hesitate to pack what few things she has and head to V...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    I didn't forget about this book, finally I can share my review:Via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/"She knows nothing of war. Her pain comes from different wounds, but isn’t all pain shaded the same color? Soft blue, plum. Running up and down our veins. Recognizable across the room."I had the pleasure of reading an uncorrected proof of this novel months ago and it found me at just the right time. I was in the mood for nature, for...
  • Jessica
    A lot of potential, but a little hard to follow. Full review to come.
  • Kellie
    A bittersweet and harrowing tale about returning home, returning to your roots. Interestingly written, the stories of Vale, Deb, Hazel, Lena, Marie, Stephen, Danny and Bonnie are raw and real. An emotional read nonetheless.
  • Ann
    I found this story very difficult to follow. It was narrated by several women and the story line bounced over several time periods. Bonnie disappears during a hurricane and her estranged daughter Vale returns home to look for her. Lena the grandmother is still around and Vale works on developing a relationship with her. The story line was a good one, mirroring recent events but I just couldn't stay interested in the characters.
  • retronerd Steinkuehler
    If you like druggies and poor trashy folks then this is for you. If you like drunks and displaced people then this is for you. I never liked any character nor felt any emotion about the storyline. A waste of time....
  • Anna
    Admittedly, this was a DNF for me -- nice writing, unique settings, but too many fragmentary narrative threads + not my brand of bleak.
  • Chris Mara
    A highly absorbing story of three generations of women each coping with their own lives, loves, losses and pain. They are deeply connected to their rural home land of Vermont and are tied to each other but not in a normal, open way. There are hidden inter generational family secrets and inner struggles. So there is a quest by the youngest woman, Vale, to find her missing mother, Bonnie, (presumably drowned) during a tropical storm. It’s been a ...
  • Elvan
    4.5 starsThought provoking, heartfelt read. I may have struggled with the flashbacks, the generations of women and the secrets hidden in the cabins on Heart Spring Mountain but the intertwined lives of these flawed yet powerful women drew me in. What moved me the most was the history of the area and the impact on its descendants. The intentional obliteration of the Abenaki tribe, a New England ethnic cleansing will be what I take away from this r...
  • Annika
    This was a moving multi-generational story set on family land in Vermont. Although the initial chapters require a bit more attention to get acquainted with the individual characters and time periods, it is worth the effort. MacArthur's writing is deft and beautiful, making the story flow through the various narrators. I loved reading about the innately human women; flawed, searching, and each finding their own connection to the world and earth ar...
  • Sarah Miller
    This book is one of the most achingly beautiful books I’ve ever encountered. To be able to articulate such true emotions and weave these deeply bonded connections that are family, is an amazing gift. Periodically I will pick a book up that ends up changing me, and how I view the world, and oh how this book did. Beautiful. Heart breaking. Hopeful. Joyful. Truthful. Such is life! This book is just that: life. I wish it would go on forever, but oh...
  • Lynn
    Thank you for making this title available. Unfortunately, the further I read, the more I was convinced that this was not the kind of book that I would enjoy. This is no criticism whatsoever of the plot, characters, writing style, setting, or the author. Merely a statement of my own preferences.
  • Richard
    Juggling multiple narratives across different time periods is no easy task even for an experienced novelist. I agree with other reviewers that it was challenging, if not difficult, to keep track of these characters. Until I was about half way through the book I was still wondering who was who and what were their relationships to each other. And that was despite the fact that I was able to spend large chunks of time reading in one sitting. If I ha...
  • Lisa
    i really liked this book - the way the complex’s matriarchal characters are woven together was subtle and well done. it’s a slow simmer of a book revealing family secrets and a connection to land that was nicely depicted. my only one small criticism was that the political references to occupy, etc. made the story feel more dated than it needed to be. i think those notes were hit without the naming....
  • Michelle
    extraordinary in its depth and beauty- this novel is not just about family, and place, but how the two impact each other and how our relationship to each other and the land (the love that grows, the secrets that are kept) plays out across generations and around the globe. Honest and lyrical, I feel like Robin MacArthur truly understands the desperation of hope.
  • Abbyforth
    This is more of a 3.5 for me. Gorgeous writing, complex characters, and some beautiful and tender moments. There are so many things about this that I loved, though I never felt truly pulled into the narrative. I can't quite put my finger on why.
  • Melissa Newhauser
    3.5 stars, started out good, ending was kind of lame
  • Katie
    A book filled with strong women living in rural New England. Ya got me there. I had a predisposition to like it, and I did.
  • Kitkat405
    Really enjoyed the mystery surrounding and leading up to the disappearance of one of many characters spanning 3 generations
  • Ann Cardinal
    Gorgeous, spirited, free. Captures the soul of Vermont. Could not love it more.
  • Kathleen Gray
    A challenging read as it moves back and forth in time and between narrators. Family secrets and lies usually make for good novels; this is no exception. Vale has returned to Vermont to find her mother Bonnie, who has gone missing in the wake of a hurricane (ironically, she was working in New Orleans.). This is not the Ben-and-Jerry's Vermont. Heart Spring Mountain has been home to generations of Vale's family and it's not always pretty. It's inte...
  • Caroline Tew
    3.5/5This book had some interesting concepts. It discusses what we owe to our ancestors, what we owe to the land we grew up on, and what we owe to the world in general. There were a lot of good descriptions of the land and I liked that. However, after awhile I was a little bit over it all. There were too many weird descriptions of sexual experiences. That’s not my favorite and I guess for some people that is a part of life and caring for yourse...
  • Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books
    (1.5)I'm going to chalk this one up to a poor choice on my part. While I wish I had a secret formula for picking the right book at the right time, I don't. If you do, then please tell me how you do it. Why did I choose this novel? Simple—location: Vermont, where my family is from; theme: frayed mother-daughter relationship/redemption/family secrets, and premise: mother disappears in a storm, daughter returns to try and find her.  On the surfac...
  • goodoldtree
    Family secrets & the quiet, sometimes complicated nature of small towns are at the heart of this book. In alternating perspectives across decades, the women of one family reflect on their lives, and loves, and a distinct connection to family land. MacArthur manages to capture both the magic and grit of Vermont perfectly here--I loved it.
  • Andrew Canfield
    A book can be told from the perspectives of various characters and still emerge a success on the other end. It can also tell a story across decades from the perspective of a single character and still turn into a coherent whole. But combining these two is hard to pull off; a tale told from the perspectives of various characters across various decades can easily turn into a mess. I am not sure how talented of a fiction writer Robin MacArthur is, b...
  • J.G. Follansbee
    No human relationship develops outside of its context. The bond between mother and son is influenced by the family’s economic or cultural circumstances. War forever alters the connection between father and daughter if the father or daughter does not return from the battlefield whole.Robin MacArthur recognizes the cascading effects of a rapidly evolving planet in her novel, Heart Spring Mountain, and she approaches them in a poetic, almost conte...