Katherine is 17, living alone in the beautiful, desolate landscape of southern Arizona. Her mother is feckless, her father busy with his new family. Meeting Son, the scion of a local rancher, seems like deliverance. They marry and live as a family in his parents’ venerable adobe house, but it soon becomes clear that Son is a man who, as his father says, has a “young heart near withered beneath the breastbone.”

Katherine must find her own way during a dangerous months-long drought, when everything seems to be disintegrating around her. Susan Froderberg’s incantatory language — and her deep knowledge of both the complexities of a small, deeply-rooted place and the human heart — make Old Border Road soar.

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"This is a Western transformed by its focus on a young woman....Katherine has a raw poetic voice that makes the tale an arresting incantation of longing and regret."—Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Ms. Froderberg superbly draws on the Sonora Desert's singular features to highlight Katherine's changing emotions....The hard lesson of Old Border Road is that there are endless enticements that lead men to dishonor."—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
"This remarkable debut novel, the story of a girl, begins with an adobe house and a road that runs south to north."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
"This simple story is beautifully told."—Barbara Fisher, Boston Globe
"Froderberg writes with an elegance and originality that captivates....The story has heart, perhaps because in Katherine we find a character to rally behind."—Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Set against a stifling drought, events take on their own slow-burning heat. . . .Froderberg's writing...achieves the sublime."—The New Yorker
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