Samuel Western | Fiction
“Ward sets down Gwen’s shotgun, picks up his own, and opens the driver side door. As he reaches in to place the shotgun on the gun rack, he touches the trigger of the unfired barrel. The birdshot goes through the rear window and directly into the back of Gwen’s head.”
In Chapter 1 of Canyons, Ward accidentally kills his girlfriend, Gwen, twin sister of Eric, who witnesses this horrific event at Ladderback Ranch in Idaho. This novel is about Ward and Eric 25 years later, when together they confront the demons and furies they have held on to for the intervening years.
Sam Western is a friend of my book club member Katie W., and so I began this book feeling like I was doing a favor for someone ... reading the book of a friend of a friend. Ha! I was immediately drawn in and stayed engaged throughout this short – though not easy – read. Western tells a compelling story about two self-destructive former friends. The author must have a big heart himself to be able to write about the inner thoughts and feelings of these two men.
Aside from the fact that Western has an odd tendency to not use the article “a” when it is called for, this is a beautifully written book. I hope he writes another novel soon!