Multi-award-winning author Guy Vanderhaeghe's eagerly awaited new novel is a dazzling follow up to his bestselling The Englishman's Boy and The Last Crossing (a Canada Reads winner!).
A Good Man culminates what could be thought of as a trilogy of books set in the late nineteenth-century Canadian and American West, and it is a masterpiece. Vanderhaeghe skilfully weaves a rich tapestry of history with the turns of fortune of his most vividly and compellingly drawn cast of characters yet. Vanderhaeghe entwines breathtaking, intriguing, and richly described narratives that contain a compelling love story, a tale of revenge and violence, a spectacular battle scene, the story of an incident in Welsely's past that threatens his relationship with Ada, and much, much more. While raising moral questions, this novel weaves the historical with the personal and stands as Vanderhaeghe's most accomplished and brilliant novel to date.
A brisk western turns introspective in Vanderhaeghe's (The Last Crossing) latest when a rich Canadian man's son tries to make good as a rancher in the Montana Territory only to have the locals turn against him. Rather than work for the Canadian government, Wesley Case spurns his father's wishes and uses the last of his military pay to buy a ranch outside Fort Benton, in 1876 a rough frontier town facing a looming Sioux uprising after Custer's last stand. From his new home, Wesley is well positioned to relay military information between Major Walsh, his old Canadian commander, and Major Ilges, the head of Fort Benton. In time, he crosses paths with the charming, outspoken Ada Tarr, the bored wife of a crooked frontier lawyer, and comes across old foe Michael Dunne, a Canadian farm boy who made good by spying on Civil War collaborators. Michael makes his living trading information in Fort Benton and also admires Ada and greatly resents Wesley's intrusion. The collision of lives on the harsh edge between the wild and the settled, slow to unspool, finally pays dividends as Wesley finds himself torn between the community he's invested in and a world he outwardly spurns but uses to his advantage. This tension draws out a potentially tedious journey of paper-shuffle politics into a cohesive high-stakes drama.