Heartbroke Bay


Lynn D’Urso
Heartbroke Bay
(Berkley, November 2010)

“Anyone who relishes good old-fashioned storytelling will find much to admire in Lynn D’Urso’s Heartbroke Bay.  D’Urso’s characters are sufficiently sympathetic and full-blooded for us to hope they attain the wealth and happiness they’re seeking, but flawed enough that we fear a far more dire outcome.  The tension that arises between our hope and our fear is what makes Heartbroke Bay such a deeply suspenseful and entertaining novel. It’s a fantastic story, told with real mastery.”
–Scott Smith, author of A Simple Plan

The pseudonymous D’Urso’s bleak and promising debut is based on a true incident first covered by Jack London in 1906. August 1898 finds 23-year old Hannah Butler accompanying her stuffy British employer on holiday in the American West. Bored stiff, Hannah soon elopes with Hans Nelson, and the two head to Alaska in search of quick riches. En route, they partner with ex-Confederate soldier Harky, eccentric prospector/guide Dutch, and boat captain Michael Severts. They all end up in remote Lituya Bay, in southeast Alaska, where they establish a camp and catch a gold fever that runs nearly as hot as Hannah’s clandestine lust for Michael. But misfortune hits: Michael loses his boat to an iceberg, and as the bitter Alaskan winter bears down, the group’s dire circumstances worsen, culminating in a bloody rampage. The prospectors’ amazing tale of survival proves to be an unsettling portrait of human greed, deceit, and betrayal, ably captured by D’Urso’s lean, direct prose.”
–Publisher’s Weekly