Cover image for Crowfoot Ridge
Crowfoot Ridge
Brandt, Ann, 1937-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [1999]

Physical Description:
278 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A previous hhardcover edition of this book was published in 1997 by Alexander Books"--T.p. verso.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Avery Baldwin is going back to California.

This time the trip isn't just in her mind, as it has often been in the twenty years of marriage, memories, and heartache sine those bittersweet summers of her teenage years. Avery is finally ready to return to the mountains where she first knew love, friendship, violence, and shame, and where she may find the truth--however painful--among the shattered fragments of her past.

Every summer Avery's family went to stay at a farm tucked at the base of a small mountain range called Crowfoot Ridge. Never quite connecting with her older brother, Adam, Avery instead grew close to the son and daughter of the Marshalls, the nearest neighbors, unaware that the fateful events of those summers would shape the rest of her life and haunt her hopes of happiness.

Now a married, childless real estate broker in a Florida suburb, Avery constantly battles the stirring images of her youth. She and her husband live like strangers. He's a developer, willing to sacrifice the endangered wetlands for a hefty profit, while Avery spends too much of her time alone.

Suddenly Avery can no longer deny her need to escape. Back at Crowfoot Rise she'll have the chance to see her childhood friend, Sylvia Marshall, and the first love of her life, Sylvia's older brother, Mars. She will also have to confront the tragic, brutal act that ended their days of innocence and threatened to destroy those precious bonds forever.

Avery may not find what she hopes or expects, but she'll soon discover that the magic of Crowfoot Ridge is far from over.

Avery drove by the shop after dinner. His shop, a converted depot. The sign said MARS MARSHALL, WOODWRIGHT. Her hand trembled on the steering wheel. Her breath caught in her throat. Twenty-one years since she'd seen him. She'd spent all those years looking for life, while Mars had gone on and lived it. Avery wanted to stop, but couldn't. She would sleep. Prepare herself. Avery fought for a balance between caution and harebrained recklessness. She would see Mars tomorrow.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Brandt makes a strong and steady impression with her debut novel (originally self-published), exploring one woman's struggle to unlock the secrets of her past. Avery met her husband, Ken Kessler, in college in the '60's, and 18 years later, family and friends are still telling her how lucky she is to be married to the successful Florida real-estate developer. But Avery's not so sure. She's at odds with Ken over his company's anti-environmental greed and suspicious of his fidelity; their relationship has deteriorated to separate bedrooms. Avery's epiphanic crisis following a car accident makes her recognize that she's never lived in the present because she's never faced up to traumatic events in her youth. She decides to leave Ken and return to the site of her childhood joy and sorrow, Crowfoot Ridge in North Carolina, where she and her family vacationed every summer. Avery's best friend Sylva Marshall‘whom she hasn't seen in 21 years‘still lives there, as well as Sylva's brother Mars, the great love of Avery's life. It's also where, one horrible night, an act of violence occurred, necessitating lies and secrets that Avery feels she must now confront. Brandt skillfully paints the nostalgic and mournful picture of Avery's first love and friendships; the juxtaposition of slick Florida realtors with the more down-home mountain folk of North Carolina makes for rich and effective contrast. She gets the small details right as well, capturing the way Avery has idealized Mars and inflated his memory, and she draws multidimensional heroes and villains. Without becoming preachy, Brandt makes a persuasive case for dealing with the past in order to heal. Agent, Jillian Manus. (Apr.) FYI: When the publisher who had her novel under contract reneged, Brandt mortgaged her house to self-publish the book. She sent a copy to Manus, who sold it to HarperCollins within 10 days. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved