Donal Cameron lives with his grandmother on the Double W ranch in the Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a gorgeous landscape alive with Maxfield Parish sunsets, jagged peaked mountains, and picturesque rivers. It is a land he is loath to leave. Donal was orphaned young and taken in by his grandmother who toils as the ranch cook. He is only 11 years old in 1951 when health issues force her to put him on a bus to Wisconsin to stay with her sister, Kate, for the summer. Donal has never met his great aunt, he is worried about his grandmother’s upcoming surgery, and he has never been out of Montana. Traveling alone on a Greyhound Bus turns into quite an adventure. Donal’s troubles are not over when he arrives, Kate is a despotic, ill tempered, self-serving woman completely lacking any consideration for the needs of a lonely young boy. Her husband Herman the German is Donal’s refuge. Herman’s obsession is anything to do with the West, Cowboys, and Indians. When Kate chucks Donal out, sending him back to Montana on the Greyhound Bus, Herman sneaks aboard too. The traveling companions scuttle Kate’s plans and light out for adventure in the west. Boy Howdy, do they ever find it! A veritable traveling roadshow of characters keep things interesting for the pair, and their readers. Cowboys, Indians, bucking horses, all come together for a last tale from one of the Northwest’s best authors, Ivan Doig.— Deon Stonehouse
The final novel from a great American storyteller.
Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan Doig's beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a landscape that gives full rein to an eleven-year-old's imagination. But when Gram has to have surgery for female trouble in the summer of 1951, all she can think to do is to ship Donal off to her sister in faraway Manitowoc, Wisconsin. There Donal is in for a rude surprise: Aunt Kate bossy, opinionated, argumentative, and tyrannical is nothing like her sister. She henpecks her good-natured husband, Herman the German, and Donal can t seem to get on her good side either. After one contretemps too many, Kate packs him back to the authorities in Montana on the next Greyhound. But as it turns out, Donal isn t traveling solo: Herman the German has decided to fly the coop with him. In the immortal American tradition, the pair light out for the territory together, meeting a classic Doigian ensemble of characters and having rollicking misadventures along the way.
Charming, wise, and slyly funny, "Last Bus to Wisdom"is a last sweet gift from a writer whose books have bestowed untold pleasure on countless readers.
About the Author
Ivan Doig was a third-generation Montanan and the author of fifteen previous books, including the bestselling "The Bartender s Tale" and "The Whistling Season" and the classic memoir "This House of Sky." He was a National Book Award finalist and received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. Doig lived in Seattle with his wife, Carol, for many years until his death."