The Lasso
by Dave Bair

"The Lord above had blessed Jesse with a “do over,” and Eureka, Montana, was where he was going to do it."

People dream of starting over in a place like Eureka, Montana. Californians, soldiers, spies, and victims alike share a taste for small-town, lakefront life, where population is scarce and possibility is vast as the land. Reinvention is an American right and rite, and pursuing it in a hamlet of true Americana holds the potential for happiness.

Unfortunately, the path to reinvention can be cluttered with dregs from the past, and the best intentions are little match for scores that demand settling. So discovers Jesse Buck in The Lasso, a novel about second chances and ghosts from prior days. When Jesse arrives in town, flush with cash and vision, he is a man with few loose ends, ready to build a life. The construction begins immediately, first with his new restaurant, and soon enough, with his love for Rachael and the sorts of community bonds that become the foundation of a full life.

But past and present conflicts nip at Jesse and his friends, threatening them bodily and rarely allowing a lasting sense of peace. Jesse sees that, true to his dreams, a thriving life and business can be erected from dust. Yet tragedy and loss also claim a place in any life, whether on the most daring of military missions, or right at home.

Author Dave Bair writes with a persuasive sense of place and person. He knows the town, and he conveys what it is to be a grown man looking for his next life. Yet Jesse’s story is oddly unfinished, ending with as many new threads as sealed fates. Perhaps in Jesse we see the truth of life’s progression, that with each ending comes beginnings, and the quest for happiness requires a man like Jesse to start again and endure a little longer.

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