Fiction Fest: ‘Raven’s Fire’ in the spotlight

Ravens Fire 2x3John Gubbins’ “Raven’s Fire” recently received a “starred” review from the American Library Association’s Booklist, an honor given to only a few of the more than 7,500 books that are reviewed by the publication each year.

Gubbins lives with his wife, Carol, alongside the Escanaba River in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Spending his teenage years studying traditional theology and philosophy, he later attended the University of Chicago, where he received a graduate degree in humanities, and Columbia University Law School, where he received a Juris Doctor degree. After pursuing a big-city law career, he came to his senses and settled his family near some of the Midwest’s greatest trout streams. He spends his free time with Carol and his son, Alex, fishing, camping, and reading poetry. Alex is a published poet, attends and teaches in the MFA program at Northern Michigan University, and lives nearby in Marquette, Michigan.

Gubbins’ first novel, “Profound River,” a historical novel set in Fifteenth Century Britain, has been acclaimed for its lyrical writing, scholarship, and originality.

You can get a copy of “Raven’s Fire” and “Profound River” in bookstores and from online retailers.

EXCERPT:

“I can see that,” she replied.  “You cannot engineer lovemaking.”

“So you believe my education is against me,” I said.

“No, Joe, what I mean to say is that you are not a simple person.  You try to be simple, but you aren’t.  You struggle with yourself,” she said thoughtfully.  “It is too much to think that your struggles with your feelings wouldn’t affect us.”

“I’m just asking that my feelings for you carry the ardor of a new love,” I said.

“You might want to rethink that, Joe,” she said.  “Ours is an old love.”

Something to think about and I dropped the subject.

Carol was right.  We had fallen in love as adolescents under the diving raft at Blue Lake and the experiences of the years between those days and today matured that love until now, when the mutual respect of a lasting marriage indelibly marked it.  For me, that respect was rooted in Carol’s kindness, her unfailing kindness.  It drove her out the door on snowy, cold mornings, and it called her away from family barbecues on summer weekends.   What I had feared as the dinner guest at the Campbell’s, became the anchor of my love for her.  And I felt privileged to live with her tender, kind heart.