In the mid-1800s, three immigrant families—Irish, Mexican, and Japanese—settled along the banks of the American River in Northern California. A century later only one family remains. Artists, musicians, poets and politicians—the inheritors of their immigrant ancestors’ hopes and dreams— the members of a new generation make their way through the turbulent decade of the sixties. From the concert halls of Europe to Kyoto’s ancient avenues, and Manhattan’s artist’s lofts to San Francisco’s North Beach, they learn the price they must pay in order to realize their dreams. But when an unexpected tragedy brings the three families together, they find that they are torn apart by conflicting opinions, dangerous secrets, engrained prejudices, and their own lofty ambitions.
Set against the natural beauty of Northern California, O’Connor weaves a complex tapestry of interrelationships and betrayals that captures the mood and resonance of a decade that began in innocence and ended in dismay.
“American River-Tributaries, Mallory O'Connor's brilliant first novel in a planned trilogy, weaves a complex tapestry that shows us that immigrant bigotry did not start with Trump's call for a wall.”
— Hilary Hemingway, author of Hemingway in Cuba
“A real page turner, with several generations of fascinating characters in complex, intertwined relationships. One also gets a sense of the history of Northern California and wonderful descriptions of places, landscapes, and seasons.”
—Diana Kurz, artist, New York City