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Burnt Tree Fork by J.C. Bonnell


A novel by a Livingston local


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This is a literary work about family, friendship, and courage, with a taste of fly fishing and a hint of murder.
The novel also touches on something much deeper – the quest for perfection, and how this definition is interpreted differently by each of his characters. The story follows a young man – Lee Jarrett – as he navigates early adult life; the friendships and loves, failures and achievements, and he is driven forward by the mystery of his grandfather, and if the man he loved and admired was a double-murderer.

From the inside flap: “Lee discovers a map showing the far wilderness where his grandfather once lived when the murders occurred, a drawing that he hopes, among other things, might hold answers to the old man’s guilt or innocence.”

As Lee navigates the wilderness terrain searching for answers, he is simultaneously navigating the wilderness within himself. As James Anderson, owner of Yellowstone Angler, says: “Using a mythical stream in the far-off mountains of West Virginia as his central metaphor, Bonnell masterfully weaves a haunting tale of idealism and young love mixed with betrayal, revenge and murder.”

“This is a book with one of Montana’s most popular past-times at its center.” – Wake Up Montana Show, ABC News

“Jerry Bonnell nicely constructs a place and time for his characters in this coming of age novel. He puts his nostalgia to good use in a juxtaposition of modern and bygone values…” – Andrea Peacock, author of Libby, Montana

“A young man … intent on making good choices – only to find the path muddled by conflicting values … and his own testosterone. Out on the river, his compass works better. A thoughtful and compelling read for those of us unafraid to look into the mirror.” – Dale Wheaton, author of Beyond the Cast