Described as an instant classic for fans of Peace Like a River and Jim the Boy: when two hardscrabble young boys think they’ve committed a crime, they flee into the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Will the adults trying to find and protect them reach them before it’s too late?
It’s the summer of 1994 in Claypot, Wisconsin, and the lives of ten-year-old Fischer “Fish” Branson and Dale “Bread” Breadwin are shaped by the two fathers they don’t talk about.
One night, tired of seeing his best friend bruised and terrorized by his no-good dad, Fish takes action. A gunshot rings out and the two boys flee the scene, believing themselves murderers. They head for the woods, where they find their way onto a raft, but the natural terrors of Ironsforge gorge threaten to overwhelm them.
Four adults track them into the forest, each one on a journey of his or her own. Sheriff Cal, who’s having doubts about a life in law enforcement; Tiffany, a purple-haired gas station attendant and poet looking for connection; Fish’s mother Miranda, full of fierce faith; and his granddad, Teddy, who knows the woods like the back of his hand.
The adults track the boys toward the novel’s heart-pounding climax on the edge of the gorge and a conclusion that beautifully makes manifest the grace these characters find in the wilderness and one another. This timeless story of loss, hope, and adventure runs like the river itself amid the vividly rendered landscape of the Upper Midwest.
PRAISE FOR RAFT OF STARS
“In ruggedly beautiful prose, and with a deep affection for his damaged, but always loveable characters, Graff delivers a novel with real heart and soul...Like a barrel going over a waterfalls, RAFT OF STARS sweeps its reader downstream, and fast. Hold on for the ride.”
– NICKOLAS BUTLER, author of SHOTGUN LOVESONGS and LITTLE FAITH
"Graff has not only crafted an adventure story with a warm heart at its center, but a whole town of characters for readers to fall in love with."
—J. RYAN STRADAL, author of THE LAGER QUEEN OF MINNESOTA
Andrew J. Graff is the author of novel, RAFT OF STARS, Ecco - HarperCollins Publishers, March 2021. His fiction and essays have appeared in Image, and Dappled Things. Andrew grew up fishing, hiking, and hunting in Wisconsin's Northwoods. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Graff earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He lives in Ohio and teaches at Wittenberg University.
RAFT OF STARS
ECCO - HARPERCOLLINS - MARCH 2021