After meeting at a boatman's bash on the Snake River, river runners Maddy and Dalt embark on a lifelong love affair. They marry on the banks of the Buffalo Fork, sure they'll live there the rest of their days. Forced by the economics of tourism to leave Wyoming, they start a new adventure, opening their own river business in Ashland, Oregon: Halfmoon Whitewater. They prosper there, leading rafting trips and guiding fishermen into the wilds of Mongolia and Russia. But when Maddy, laid low by dizzy spells, with a mono that isn't quite mono, both discovers she is pregnant and is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, they realize their adventure is just beginning.
Navigating hazards that dwarf any of the rapids they've faced together, Maddy narrates her life with Dalt the way she lives it: undaunted, courageous, in the present tense. Driven by her irresistible voice, full of wit and humor and defiance, If Not For This is a love story like no other.
Praise for If Not For This:
"Here, brave and unabashed, is a novel about love, two sweet droll people who become a family, and then—brave and unabashed—real trouble magnifies everything. In If Not For This, Pete Fromm brings us a rich, deeply felt book, so full of kindness and kind people that it's an absolute phenomenon."
—Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine
"What do you do when you get everything you most desire in this life, but getting through every day requires you to be a superhero? In Pete Fromm's smart, gorgeous, uplifting and heartbreaking new novel, If Not For This, you consider yourself damn lucky."
—Bonnie Jo Campbell
Pete Fromm is a four-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award for the novels As Cool As I Am and How All This Started, a story collection, Dry Rain, and a memoir, Indian Creek Chronicles. His new novel is If Not For This. The film version of As Cool As I Am, starring Claire Danes, James Marsden, and Sarah Bolger, was released in June of 2013. He is the author of four other short story collections and has published over two hundred stories in magazines. A core faculty member at Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program, he has a degree in wildlife biology from the University of Montana and worked for years as a river ranger in Grand Teton National Park. He lives with his family in Montana, where he can often be seen walking underneath his canoe to the river.