Former editor/screenwriter Jonathan Raymond opted for a mighty task when imagining his first novel - it would be a story of two friendships, alliances in the Pacific Northwest 100 years apart. He penned parallel narratives that not only trace these friendships but also the development of the Portland, Oregon area over a period of time.
Cookie Figowitz is the youngest member of the Wild Trappers fur-trapping party. Both are aptly named as Cookie is the cook, and the trappers are a brash bunch. It is 1820 and they're on their way to the Hudson Bay Company. These trappers don't take kindly to not having enough to eat, which is precisely the situation Cookie finds himself in. Supplies are low.
One night while Cookie is out searching for food he finds instead Henry Brown, a fellow running for his life from a few vengeful Russians. Cookie's a good soul so he takes Henry back to camp with him, hiding him from the trappers. Out of this definitely inauspicious beginning a friendship develops, one that sees them go to China together in the hopes of selling a type of oil.
The story jumps to the 1980s and meet Tina Plank, an unhappy miss who lives in a commune near Portland. There's just one girl anywhere close to her age within a five mile radius, and that's Trixie Volterra, a savvy gal with a past. The two are quite a pair and form quite a friendship as they attempt to produce a movie on a poor excuse for a budget.
There's a surprise in store for the girls when two skeletons are found on the property where they're filming - Cookie and Henry. Thus the author has adroitly brought together the lives of four people. Each pair is from the same place in a different time. All have known the joys and sadness inherent in friendship.
This report prepared by The Snide Gail Cooke