Rusty spends his first six years being tormented by his obnoxious cousins while living with his aunt in Arizona. Rusty’s origins are a bit murky. His father is charismatic Tom Harry, a bar tender par excellent in Gros Vetre Montana. The only thing Rusty knows about his Mom is that she is gone.
Tom rescues Rusty from his spiteful cousins and he settles into a bachelor’s life with his dad in a big old house behind the bar in the remote Montana town. It is a pretty good life, uncomplicated and harmonious, father and son looking out for each other.
All goes swimmingly until Rusty turns twelve and Proxy, an old flame of Tom’s, hits town with her teenage daughter. Is the daughter Rusty’s sister? And what will happen now to Rusty’s idyllic life with Tom?
Ivan Doig’s lyrical prose, wry humor, and rich storytelling are a treasure. You go Ivan!— Deon Stonehouse
September 2012 Indie Next List
“Always one of the West's best storytellers, Doig has achieved here the perfect fictional mix: winning, believable characters; an intricate, timely, and surprising plot; and a Montana setting that pivots between the early days of JFK in the 1960s and the 1930s of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I frequently fall in love with books, but The Bartender's Tale is no mere infatuation!the love I feel for it will last a lifetime.”
— Betsy Burton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
From a great American storyteller, a one-of-a-kind father and his precocious son are rocked by a time of change. The pair make an odd kind of family, with the bar their true home, but they manage just fine until the summer of 1960 when two new women enter their lives.
About the Author
A third-generation Montanan, Ivan Doig is the author of thirteen previous books, including the Indiebound bestseller "Work Song" and the classic memoir "This House of Sky." He has been a National Book Award finalist and has received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. He lives in Seattle.