‘Black River’ tabbed as 2016 ‘Tale’

By Matt Krueger, mkrueger@batavianews.com

Albion – How can a woman in her late 20s write about a 60 – year-old man with such imagery and insight that he feels instantly relatable to readers?  That is sure to be one of the many questions asked of author S.M. Hulse when she visits Western New York for the 14th annual “A Tale for Three Counties” community reading project.

Hulse’s debut novel “Black River”  was officially announced as the latest book in the long-running program during a fundraiser dinner Friday night at Hoag Library.

“Tale” weekend is scheduled for March 10-12 and will feature Hulse speaking about her novel throughout Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

“I’m honored and excited by ‘Black River’ (being selected) as the ‘A Tale for Three Counties’ title,” said Hulse from her Spokane, Wash. home.  “I’ve never been to Western New York before, but I’m looking forward to visiting the Tale communities and talking with readers.”

The book tells the story of Wes Carver a retired corrections officer who recently lost his wife and must still deal with the crippling pain from torture he suffered during a prison riot years earlier.  It examines the hostile relationship he has with his estranged step-son and how playing his fiddle was his true joy in life.

The committee members were all excited to announce the latest “Tale” book and said they look forward to the discussions this novel will provide.  “The themes of revenge and forgiveness, fatherhood and faith are explored in the novel and are excellent discussion topics,” said Sue Border, director of Woodward Library in LeRoy.  “Emotions run high in ‘Black River,’ as several rocky relationships are explored,” she added.  “The characters are brilliantly drawn and their emotions and decisions will make an interesting discussion.”

Hulse admitted that “Tale” will be her first experience with a one-book community reading program as an author.

“My hometown, Spokane, held their own one-book program in October, and I attended an event as a reader for the first time,”  she said. “It was a Q&A discussion with Emily St. John Mandel, author of “Station Eleven,” and I enjoyed the fact that because most of the readers in the audience had already read the book, the questions could be a bit more detailed and specific than those often asked at literary events.  It was also great to see such a broad cross-section of my community coming together to discuss a shared reading experience.”

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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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