Milk River is a 90,000 word literary novel written in five voices.
Therese, the youngest child in the family, helps her mother board a bus to a mental institution and begins a struggle to salvage a family tattered by alcoholism and mental illness. All she wants is a family.
Her mother never returns. Rumors fly in their small mining town in the mountains of southern Alberta.
They say her mother was a prostitute and Therese might be good for providing sexual experiences for adolescent boys.
Therese dodges violence and bad choices. Her only romantic interest gets her in trouble with the law.
Her father and brother watch their lives dissolve in chaos. And yes, there is a gun involved.
Families caught in the web of alcoholism normally practice denial to survive. Therese refuses. She wants to break the pattern for living provided for her by her family. She sees the impact of alcohol on her brother’s children. They are so frightened and nervous they cannot have dreams for the future. They can barely sleep. Therese claims the children and shows them the way to a different, better life. She builds a family.