Ruin: A Novel of Flyfishing in Bankruptcy
by Leigh Seippel
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add firstname.lastname@example.org as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 27 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 10 Jan 2023
Meryl Moss Media Group, City Point Press
Frank is another dreamer whose life is suddenly burned to the ground. More a disillusioned literature Ph.D. than an experienced financier, he had naively agreed to join his wife’s inheritance with his own personal guarantee of a college friend’s private equity partnership debt.
The business implosion and subsequent bankruptcy took all their assets. Francy, an orphaned European heiress, now finds herself homeless, still married to pleasant, witty Frank—who had failed to protect them from disaster.
The couple flees Manhattan to live at a desolate non-working Hudson Valley farm. Frank starts an artisanal brewery with a charismatic new eccentric friend. And, central to the heart of the story, he takes up fly fishing. A local doctor, perceiving Frank’s depression, prescribes that he gain some confidence through self-taught fishing.
Frank’s perceptions on the water are fresh and acute, sometimes colored by his memory of the words of famous writers, now painfully ironic in his life’s new context. The novel weaves together fly fishing and life experiences that ultimately turn shockingly deadly.
And throughout, there is Francy’s story. Now in exile, she re-approaches painting with new and darkly complex emotional energy. Painting in reclusive concentration, she cuts Frank off, tacitly becoming her own woman. Her work’s enigmatic intensity attracts a wealthy neighbor who offers Francy a show in his Manhattan gallery and that attracts a great deal of trouble indeed.
“Ruin is a complex novel in which a bereft man learns to reconsider the power of the natural world.”
– Forward Reviews
“Seippel unfurls this tragicomic tale in a haunting manner, deeply echoing the vulnerability of early Hemingway and the bitterness of T.S. Eliot. The journey is thrilling, its vividly evolving characters long memorable.”
— Barnaby Conrad III, author,
Ghost Hunting in Montana and
Jacques Villeglé and the Streets of Paris
“Absorbing and astonishing. Leigh Seippel knows the dynamics of streams, sentences, and the human soul. Ruin is a novel to be savored.”
—Noah Broyles, author of The House of Dust
“Leigh Seippel’s tale of wreckage, fishing, and renewal reads like a song, drawing us across the hazy Rubicon that divides every lost man’s heart.”
— Chase Pletts, author, The Loving Wrath of Eldon Quint, Spur Award winner, 2022
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 9 members
Review of eBook
Frank Campbell and his wife, Francy Desmorais, fresh out of bankruptcy in which they’ve lost virtually everything and are now en-route, via Frank’s cherry red Lamborghini, from Manhattan to the nonworking Hudson Valley farm left to Francy by her uncle Everhardt.
Realizing they are lucky to have Time Farm, they manage to settle in, goats notwithstanding, prepared for a life in which none of their former accouterments are necessary. Francy returns to her painting with a passion, Frank meets eccentric Robert Taylor and together they begin a brewery business.
As Frank and Francy were crossing the bridge on the night they were headed to the farm, they saw a flyfisherman in the water below. He introduces himself to them; later he invites Frank and Francy to join him at the next meeting of the Anamorphosis Flyfishing Club. There they meet an eccentric group of people including, Arthur, a doctor who seeks to ease Frank’s depression . . . he suggests Frank teach himself fishing in order to gain some confidence in himself.
As he seeks to adjust to this new life, and the decisions that brought him to this place, Frank takes to flyfishing. But there are difficulties on the horizon and Frank may find that he is once again in trouble. Can he save himself? Can he save Francy?
The implosion of Frank’s business strains his marriage . . . he’d used his wife’s inheritance as a personal guarantee to cover the debt of the private equity partnership. With everything gone, Frank waxes philosophical; his life experiences and his adventures with flyfishing are intertwined.
The story here is complex, intertwining the fundamentals of flyfishing with Frank’s ruminations about the events in his life. It’s both vulnerable and haunting, vivid and compelling. With captivating characters, a twisty plot, and surprising revelations, readers will find themselves drawn into Frank’s world. Some unexpected twists along the way take the story in unforeseen directions, but Frank’s continuing evolution is mesmerizing.
The writing here is often lyrical; bits of Hopkins, Eliot, and Theocritus find their way into the telling of the tale as does Marty Robbins. Strong characters and a vivid sense of place support Frank’s journey of discovery through the vicissitudes of life as he searches for his way forward. Readers will find the finely-woven threads of this tale create a vivid tapestry filled with intrigue and sparkling revelation.
I received a free copy of this eBook from Meryl Moss Media Group, City Point Press and NetGalley