After meeting at a boatman’s bash on the Snake River, river runners Maddy and Dalt embark on a lifelong love affair. They marry on the banks of the Buffalo Fork, sure they’ll live there the rest of their days. Forced by the economics of tourism to leave Wyoming, they start a new adventure, opening their own river business in Ashland, Oregon: Halfmoon Whitewater. They prosper there, leading rafting trips and guiding fishermen into the wilds of Mongolia and Russia. But when Maddy, laid low by dizzy spells, with a mono that isn’t quite mono, both discovers she is pregnant and is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, they realize their adventure is just beginning.
Navigating hazards that dwarf any of the rapids they’ve faced together, Maddy narrates her life with Dalt the way she lives it: undaunted, courageous, in the present tense. Driven by her irresistible voice, full of wit and humor and defiance, If Not For This is a love story like no other.
Praise for If Not For This
“Here, brave and unabashed, is a novel about love, two sweet droll people who become a family, and Thenbrave and unabashedreal trouble magnifies everything. In If Not For This, Pete Fromm brings us a rich, deeply felt book, so full of kindness and kind people that it’s an absolute phenomenon.”—Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine
“If Not For This is a terrific novel, poignant as hell, but feisty, funny, and romantic, too. Pete Fromm is a powerful, lucid writer, a perfect guide to the unpredictable rivers and people of the interior West, to their deep channels and breathtaking turns.”—Jess Walter
“What do you do when you get everything you most desire in this life, but getting through every day requires you to be a superhero? In Pete Fromm’s smart, gorgeous, uplifting and heartbreaking new novel, If Not For This, you consider yourself damn lucky.”—Bonnie Jo Campbell