An original read about awakenings, mysteries, survival, and relationships. — From Syd's FICTION picks
“Original, fresh, and vulnerable. As soon as I finished Kingdomtide, I wanted to read it all over again. The shared plotline of the main characters felt like a heartbeat, speeding up and slowing down as they dealt with what life handed them. This story felt so real, not just in the sense that it could truly happen, but the feelings and emotions and conflicts the characters struggled through, with themselves, others, and society as a whole. A must-read for 2020, it really blew me away. I can’t wait for Curtis’ next novel.”
— Jen Morrow, Bards Alley, Vienna, VA
As Cloris wanders mountain forests and valleys, subsisting on whatever she can scavenge, her hold on life ever more precarious, Ranger Lewis and her motley group of oddball rescuers follow the trail of clues she's left behind. Days stretch into weeks, and hope begins to fade. But with nearly everyone else giving up, Ranger Lewis stays true until the end.
Dramatic and morally complex, Kingdomtide is a story of the decency and surprising resilience of ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances. In powerful, exquisite prose, debut novelist Rye Curtis delivers an inspiring account of two unforgettable characters whose heroism reminds us that survival is only the beginning.
A New York Times New and Noteworthy Book
An O, The Oprah Magazine Best Book of January
About the Author
"A heart-pounding tale... Riveting and surprising... Kindness helps steer this heartbreaking tale in a heartwarming direction... Rye Curtis keeps us turning pages as Cloris confronts bobcats, hypothermia, starvation, icy inundation, and a strange mountain lion who walks backwards... Predicated on a cataclysmic, life-changing accident, Kingdomtide offers a transportive read... A stirring debut."—Heller McAlpin, NPR
"Rye Curtis's debut novel, Kingdomtide, is that rare genre-fluid story that is lovable both because of and despite its surfeit of eccentric, over-the-top characters and moments. Some are gritty and dark, others light and wise; together they create an impressive first book and a highly original tale of adventure and perseverance... Cloris Waldrip is immediately irresistible. Her first-person voice bubbles with a sage vibrancy as well as sometimes laugh-out-loud wit... It's Waldrip who suggests that life stories are shaped by those who live to retell them---something she has done in this narrative with formidable grace... Kingdomtide is a distinctive and inventive story about nonconformity, resilience, and the ways we draw strength from unlikely places."—Janet Kinosian, Los Angeles Times
"Kingdomtide is a truly spectacular first novel: weird, tender, funny, grotesque--above all, deeply, achingly human. It tugged at my thoughts during the days I spent reading it, and has made for itself a permanent place in my memory."—Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer prize-winning author of Manhattan Beach and A Visit from the Goon Squad
"Rye Curtis's debut novel is an astonishing work. His powerful and convincing characters are at risk in a harsh and beautiful landscape in which the best and worst are revealed, and nothing is as it initially seems. Kingdomtide is at once a page-turner and a meditation on the complexity of the human experience and spirit."—Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone and The Maid's Version
"First novels are often praised for an author's potential, but Kingdomtide displays a talent fully realized. Cloris Waldrip's trek through wilderness after a plane crash is suspenseful from start to finish, but as the lives of her potential rescuers are revealed, the novel also moves through the even deeper wilderness of the human heart. Rye Curtis is a writer of exceptional talent."—Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena
paragraph. If Flannery O'Connor wrote a procedural, she couldn't invent a
stranger, more luminous world. This is a place where the grotesque and the
sublime coexist in harmony, where misfits and outcasts band together to
survive, and where the tale belongs to whoever tells it best--in this case, the
immensely talented Rye Curtis."
thrilling, so packed with such wonderful characters--is the best novel I've read
in a long time."
"Kingdomtide is much more than a harrowing tale of survival in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. A plane crash and rescue operation in this debut are but a pretext for a rich and stunning examination of the wayward. Rye Curtis has written a splendid, funny, and insightful book, and created an exuberant affirmation of the soul--lost, found, or (like most of us) in some kind of transit."—Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek
"Kingdomtide is an extraordinary debut novel that feels like the result of a fortuitous lab spill involving, in one rack of tubes, the essential literary fluids of Denis Johnson, Annie Proulx, and Flannery O'Connor, and, in the other, the sweet morality of Leif Enger, Kent Haruf, and Charles Portis. (When you think of the indelible Cloris Waldrip of these pages, picture True Grit's Mattie Ross at age seventy-two, still kicking ass and taking names.) But although a reader can at times sense various veins coming down from various mountains, they are always in service of the one big heart that becomes Kingdomtide, a book that is wise, touching, and most of all original."—Rick Bass, author national bestseller and Story Prize winner of For a Little While
"Stop reading this blurb right now and read the first paragraph of Kingdomtide. If you can stop after that, you'll know you're a robot. A defective robot. Kingdomtide will bring you to tears of laughter, tears of joy, and...are there tears of insight? Rye Curtis is a fireball of talent."—James Hannaham, PEN/Faulkner Award winner for Delicious Foods
unexpected...A deep and surprising debut...Cloris' survival narration is exciting,
with devastating vistas and a mysterious savior in the form of a possible
fugitive, but her musings on her past life and life in general are some of the
book's very best moments."
"A darkly humorous debut...A captivating survival story...By turns thrilling, poignant, and hilarious, Kingdomtide is carried along by Cloris Waldrip's irresistible first-person narration. She is so matter-of-fact, wry, and indomitable it's not hard to imagine she's a granddaughter of True Grit's Mattie Ross...This is a promising first novel."—Kirkus Reviews
attempt to survive and escape is depicted with vivid urgency...Her gritty,
nightmarish story, as well as her strong voice and personality, will make her a
reader favorite...This story of survival will keep readers quickly turning