It a pleasure today to bring you all an excerpt from Just River by Sara B Fraser.
Due for release on November 24th with Black Rose Writing, Just River is described as ‘an atmospheric novel about a misfit friendship and a mother’s increasingly perilous and heroic measures to save her daughter’
I do hope you enjoy!
[ About the Book ]
Wattsville was a booming manufacturing town on the Otis River. But now, the mills are closed. The windows boarded up. The same people frequent the same bars every day without fail. The once prosperous place is now riddled with substance abuse, poverty, violence and hush-hush secrets. Only the river bears witness to all their secrets — and only the river can divulge the truth.
At the heart of these secrets are best friends Sam and Carol. Sam faces judgement and discrimination at every turn for his cross-dressing tendencies and gay leanings — unusual sights to the citizens of Wattsville. But his heart holds true as he braves a new job, deceitful drug deals and lonely walks in the dark woods. When Carol’s daughter is caught in the crosshairs of justice and her former boyfriend’s deceit, she plots with Sam to prove Garnet’s innocence. Told with beauty and tenderness against the landscape of forgotten everyday America, Just River connects the complexity and danger we all contain.
[ Excerpt ]
The Otis River, upstate, was once a cradle of industry. Its rusty water and yellow-tinted foam lips are partly a legacy of that past, and partly the simple fact of high iron content in the earth. In the small—and getting smaller—city of Wattsville, which straddles both sides of the Otis, all the manufacturing plants were closed by the 1970s, but the redbrick buildings that line the river ’s banks make visitors—if there ever are any—hearken back to a time when machinery screamed under giant wooden beams, trains pulling into the station were regularly delayed by slow moving freights, and leaded shop windows rippled the fedoras, furs, and crocodile purses of wealthy shoppers downtown. Now, like every other small city in the area, Wattsville struggles. Wages are stagnant. Industry is gone.
The city is kept on life support by a few small businesses serving an agricultural sprawl, a couple of penitentiaries, and several old-money families that live in the picturesque neighborhood of White Hills. In these families, many fathers spend the workweek in Manhattan, coming home on Fridays in time for cocktails at sunset.
Ethan Thaxter comes from one such family.
Ethan is the owner of a Volkswagen New Beetle that is upside down at the bottom of the Otis. The bright-red paint is in stark contrast to the brown water. Before long, the paint will fade from gumball to cinnamon, and finally be indistinguishable from the rocks around it. Ethan wouldn’t have any appreciation for the way nature subdues and incorporates humanity’s shiny refuse, but it happens anyway. The car scarcely rocks with the current and a curious fish swims inside, drawn to the graduation tassel attached to the rearview mirror, with its shiny ’95 badge
Purchase Link ~ Just River
[ Bio ]
Sara B. Fraser is the author of LONG DIVISION, a novel published by Black Rose Writing in March, 2019. Her short fiction has appeared in Carve, Wilderness House Literary Review, Salamander, the Jabberwock Review, the Forge, Stonecrop, and more.