Thursday, August 1, 2013

Return To Oakpine And A Giveaway

Today it’s my pleasure to tell you about a charming new book I read and delighted that I can offer two copies of it as a giveaway.

First, let me tell you my thoughts on the book then a bit about the author and conclude with the giveaway details.


When I began RETURN TO OAKPINE, coverI didn’t think I was going to like it after all and wasn’t sure I could even finish it. Within a few pages, however, I was pulled into Oakpine and had to know it’s people and their secrets.

The story unfolded layer by layer as the present mingled with thoughts of the past and what might have been. The story is about four men trying to figure out who they are and what they’re doing 30 years after their graduation.

Days after his graduation, Jimmy Brand left the small town of Oakpine, Wyoming, for New York City. He became a successful writer and never looked back. He hasn’t been home once in 30 years until now. Jimmy is coming home to die. While his mother is delighted to see him, his father won’t even allow him in the house. He has to stay in the garage in a room his mother had fixed for him.

As plans are made for Jimmy’s homecoming, his friends begin to remember. There once was a band consisting of four good friends. But each went their separate way and the music stopped for all of them.

Craig Ralston remained in town, gave up on a career in construction and took over the family hardware store. He married his high school sweetheart, but life is not as good as it looks. Frank Gunderson stayed in town too. Now he owns and operates a bar. He has regrets that he never left to make something of himself. Mason Kirby left for Denver and became a successful lawyer. He returns to Oakpine to sell his parent’s old home and realizes he hasn’t enjoyed living in a long time. The group decides they need to get the band back together one last time for all their sake.

RETURN TO OAKPINE is about the decisions we make and the effects they have on our lives. It’s about friendships, family, and living in a small town. It deals with hopes and dreams and the reality of growing up and losing who you want to be.

Author Ron Carlson has created memorable characters that will tug on your heartstrings. He writes in a manner that pulls you in and holds you captivate until the very end. He combines humor, sadness, dreams and reality for a well-balanced tale of American life. His style will bring you to tears and fill you with laughter.

If you’ve ever wondered about a different path not taken, RETURN TO OAKPINE is a must read.

Return To Oakpine by Ron Carlson, Viking, @2013, ISBN: 978-0670025077, Hardcover, 272 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.    

Ron Carlson is the critically acclaimed author of five story collections and four novels, most recently The Signal. His fiction has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, Playboy, GQ, Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. 

He is the director of the writing program at the University of California at Irvine and lives in Huntington Beach, CA

GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Thanks to the lovely Laura at Viking, I have 2 copies of RETURN TO OAKPINE to giveaway. The winners can select either print or digital download through NetGalley. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only. 

To enter this giveaway, please send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win Return To Oakpine.” Your message should include your name and mailing address if you’d like to receive the print copy or the email address you’d like the NetGalley widget sent to for the digital download. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of RETURN TO OAKPINE is 8 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have you ever started reading a book thinking you won’t like it only to end up enjoying the book and wishing there was more?


  1. Mason - I'm glad you enjoyed this. Sometimes those reflective type books can really be excellent. And of course, the music theme I'm sure adds a lot to the story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm glad you mentioned it was difficult to get into the story at the beginning. It always helps me to keep going when I hear a review that says it's worth reading.
    Thanks for all your great reviews - my TBR list is forever growing.


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