Thursday, April 01, 2021

Fiction Review: Heart Spring Mountain

I recently listened to Heart Spring Mountain by Robin MacArthur on audio, and I enjoyed this  emotionally complex family drama spanning five generations of women. 

Vale lives in New Orleans and works as a bartender and dancer. In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene devastates her home state of Vermont, and she gets a phone call that her mother, Bonnie, is missing. Though they've been estranged for many years, Vale gets on a bus and travels to Vermont to help search for Bonnie. Once up there, she is surrounded by old friends and family, memories, and her family's history, including some long-held shocking secrets she uncovers. As her search for Bonnie, who is a drug addict and unreliable, continues for months, Vale slowly returns to this place and these people where she spent her childhood. Chapters alternate between different narrators from different time periods, going back through five generations of women in Vale's family who all lived in this remote section of Vermont woods. There is an intricate sense of place in their stories and a strong connection to nature, as Vale unravels secrets and perhaps finds a future for herself among the past.

This is an intricate, poignant story of family history woven with nature. Listening to the audio, I was a bit confused at first by all the female characters (and jumping around in time), but I finally got the generations of women straight in my mind (a family tree I sketched on a Post-It helped)! Vale's emotional journey back into her family and her heritage is a moving one. I enjoyed both the family dynamics and the strong focus on the Vermont woods and the natural world. I especially liked the links between the generations, as Vale slowly discovers things she never knew about her family. I enjoyed listening to this engaging and touching story of coming home and rediscovering herself through her family's history.

368 pages, Ecco


Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.


Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

Visit my YouTube Channel for more bookish fun!


Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible.


You can buy the book through, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!


Or you can order Heart Spring Mountain from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of the main character returning home and finding connection to her roots.