When 16-year-old Cindra Zoeller is sent to a reform camp in Montana after being involved in an armed robbery, she is thrust into a world of mountains and cowboys and prayers and miscreants and people from all walks of life like she's never seen in suburban Massachusetts. At Camp Challenge, she becomes transfixed by Lucky, a camp employee of mysterious origin, and the chemistry between them is instant, and profound. The pair escape together into the wilderness to create an idyllic life far from the reach of the law, living off their resounding love, Lucky's vast knowledge of the wilderness, and a little help from some friends.
... a new kind of romance. Dark, dangerous, and threaded with beauty and possibility, it’s the story of the whirlwind affair of two young lovers and the decades they were kept apart ... Roorbach has penned a love letter to the beauty and power of Montana, but he contrasts it with the greed and avarice of those who have tried to tame it, and oppress or eradicate its indigenous people. The characters in Lucky Turtle can be understood as symbols for that conflict, but it is a delight to read them just as Roorbach pens them. His style is lovely and lyrical, with interesting turns of phrase and keen observations. The tensions don’t simmer here but roil, making for an emotionally challenging, worthwhile and truly special read.
A story of love and heartbreak in a world of breathtaking splendor and deep injustice, Bill Roorbach's Lucky Turtle is a novel of perseverance, brimming with entertaining dialogue and rich details of the flora and fauna of the West ... Readers also remain optimistic, following these sympathetic characters to an ultimately happy ending
Roorbach draws a compelling portrait of Cindra and the other wayward teenagers — both too tough and too vulnerable for their own good. But Cindra’s constant attention to skin color threatens to undermine this otherwise authentic treatment of racial and cultural conflict in America. Still, fans of Roorbach’s prolific work will appreciate his signature lyricism and sense of place, his sweeping narrative, humor and romance. New readers are walking into the hands of a skilled storyteller who’s not afraid to take on a big, messy tale of love, privilege and abuse.