Theo MacBain, master mason, divorced, lonely, follows some simple rules.
Work hard. Keep the stones plumb. Don't hire a woman - she'll be trouble.
But he breaks his rules when he agrees to take on Hanson Blair as an apprentice. First, she earns his respect by working hard. Then she arouses his protective instincts when he senses she is in trouble. And soon enough, she makes him forget the age gap between them. He falls for her. Hard. And there is no turning back.
Should have stuck to his rules.
“Lyrical scenes depict the art and effort of building with stone, as well as community celebrations such as barn-raising. At the center of this beautifully-written novel is a passionate, unstable relationship between two complex people who know how to create, and how to destroy.” - Cary Holladay, author of Horse People: Stories
"The novel is a true character study. McRaven (The Classic Hewn-Log House, 2014, etc.) builds a compelling narrative around an unlikely hero; an aging, reticent stonemason whose rough exterior hides a sharp intellect and reflective nature. Theo and Hannie’s relationship is satisfyingly nuanced, as the author probes the issues that hide beneath the surface tensions created by long days at work or jealousy. Theo’s steady friendship with Beth, which reappears throughout the tale, effectively counterbalances an otherwise complex love life. The evocative descriptions of days spent outdoors under wide-open Western skies, fly-fishing, or riding horses, are reminiscent of the work of Norman Maclean or Jim Harrison." - Kirkus Reviews