The American River Trilogy
Book 1: Tributaries begins in June 1959 when Kate McPhalan’s mother, Marian, leaves Mockingbird Ranch to follow her dream of becoming a professional artist. Kate’s younger sister, Alexandria, a spoiled and impetuous child prodigy, goes with Marian in order to continue her music studies at the New England Conservatory. Kate tries to hold the family together despite the deep rift between her father Owen and her older brother Julian who is gay. Kate’s childhood friend, Japanese internment camp survivor Tommy Ashida, becomes her closest ally. The two teenagers fall in love, but when Kate’s father, Owen, discovers their relationship, he banishes the Ashida family from Mockingbird. Meanwhile, while visiting her family’s summer home in Lenox, Massachusetts, Marian becomes romantically involved with Carlos Morales (aka Carl Fitzgerald), a charismatic young classical musician who has traveled from California to attend classes at the Berkshire Music Center. When Alex discovers the affair, she realizes that she has a powerful secret weapon.
Book 2: Currents, begins with Kate realizing that her husband, Carl, now a celebrated violinist and conductor, may not want to stay in California if there are better professional prospects elsewhere. Kate loves the West and especially the family ranch, and is distressed about leaving. Also, while attending a music festival in Venice, Italy, where Carl is conducting, she meets Stefan Molnar, a renowned concert pianist, who has become her sister Alex’s mentor (and lover.) Meanwhile, Tommy Ashida, now studying at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, falls in love with Emiko Namura, the beautiful, sheltered daughter of a Tokyo businessman. And Marian moves to New York to try to make her mark in the art world.
Book 3: Confluence When Owen dies, Kate inherits Mockingbird Ranch but finds that the once-lucrative family business is no longer sustainable. She tries desperately to find a way to save her family’s land from development. Owen’s former campaign manager, Dan Papadakis, who is seeking revenge against the McPhalan family, also imperils her attempts. But just as the branches of a river must somewhere converge, the surviving members of the three families find their way back to California and to a very special place that forged the original link between their destinies. Together, they join Kate in her fight to preserve the heritage and history of their home—a place called Mockingbird.
To view American River Map following the link: American River Map by John A. O’Connor