Vermonter Mona Duval loves the covered bridge beside her store. She loves local history and the rugged, rural nature of her home state. But when an ice storm collapses the bridge, she is bereft. Frank MacFarland, a seasonal resident who is beguiled by Mona, lends his political expertise to help rebuild the bridge. But they meet with powerful opposition. Tensions arise in the town, compounded by resistance to the soon-to-be-voted on Freedom to Marry bill. And then, unexpectedly, Mona’s abusive ex-husband arrives. Wild Mountain is a page-turning, beautifully written novel about the love between Frank and Mona, the love of place, freedom to marry, and freedom from the past, by a writer whose prose has been compared to Alice Munro’s.
“Kilgore’s characters find love despite many obstacles, and they find freedom in Vermont. They are free to get a second chance at life—what a wonderful gift.” –Vermont Woman
“Presenting small-town life with strong descriptive prose and empathy, Kilgore eventually arrives at a heartening message of reconciliation.” —Seven Days
“This book is at its heart, all about love….Ms. Kilgore has a very poetic way of writing that turns words into vignettes that played as little movies in my head as I read the story. I almost shivered as the ice broke on the river, I felt the breeze blow across the fields and the spring sun warmed my face. I, unlike the author do not have a magical way with words but trust me when I say you will be rewarded by reading this book.” —Broken Teepee Broken Teepee
“The places and characters are so vivid and real, I felt like I was there with them. I wanted to wrap myself up in the story like a coat.” —Kim Church, author of Byrd
“…the author did a great job in setting the scene. As I was reading, I could picture this small town, the covered bridge, and the surrounding mountains. It made me want to take a trip to Vermont!” Musings of a Literary Wanderer
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WILD MOUNTAIN BOOK GROUP GUIDE
1. Is this Mona’s story or the town’s?
2. A major theme in this novel is love. Discuss.
3. Setting figures heavily in this novel. Could the story have been set anywhere else? Would a city neighborhood have been a possible setting? Why or why not?
4. Difference is a major theme in the novel. Gus is differently-abled, for instance, and some people are LGBT and suffer discrimination. But some people are also old and opinionated and young people in the novel make choices that surprise. What is the author saying about difference and how we handle difference?
5. The author is a psychotherapist. How do you feel her work background shaped her writing?
6. The loss of the covered bridge is where WILD MOUNTAIN begins. How does history—both personal and community history—become important to the plot?
7. A debate occurs in this novel about who has the right to marry. How does the novel portray marriage?
8. How is faith portrayed here?
9. The novel seems deceptively simple at first but has major underlying themes about defining experiences in people’s lives. How did Kilgore manage to this, do you think?
10. Frank is someone we all know or at least, he feels like he is. What about Frank’s character is key to this novel?
11. Mona’s store is central to her community. Would the novel be different if her job had been different?
12. How does the author use symbolism in WILD MOUNTAIN?
13. Is this a coming-of-age later in life story? Can we come of age more than once?
14. Is this a novel about compassion? Passion?
15. What do you think happens next?