True North
Life has always been difficult and dangerous for those living on and around the Turtle Mountain Reservation. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a secret. Everyone thinks they’re only connected to their neighbors by the isolated, peculiar town they share.

Orphaned Sioux Ida Florence Little Shay is determined to escape the life before her, but her course of action only draws her into a world of increasing conflict and deepening poverty.

Young Fawn Breen appears as if she is from a different century. With her primitive, animalistic father as her only companion, she is forced to look after herself when she is thrust into society.

Harold Peavey is an idealistic young man who finds his views of the world in severe conflict with those around him, facing ostracism by his community when he refuses to abandon his beliefs.

Enduring mistakes, tragedies, secrets, and long-held grudges spanning the 1930s-1960s that have permanently marked them, these three Great Plains farm families clash together as they struggle to survive and find their way in an ever-changing world.
True North by Gary Eller
Gary Eller
ISBN Numbers:
Hardcover: 978-1-64397-239-8
Softcover:  978-1-64397-240-4
Ebook:        978-1-64397-241-1
LCCN: 2020937799

Page Count: 376 (HC) | 388 (SC)
Release Date: 11/18/2021
Fiction | Historical | Literary
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Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook
Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook
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Hardcover, Softcover, Ebook
Gary Eller
True North will quickly jerk you by the roots from the tranquil prairie grasses into a world of mystery, murder and intrigue. Eller’s depth of detail and description takes you smoothly through the sights, sounds and fragrances of an uncovered world.
—Dennis R. Waller, author of Walkin' Joe and the Midnight Marauders
“a thoughtful yet passionate, densely woven tableau of interconnected lives and eras in the tradition of Sherwood Anderson; Gary Eller brings a lifetime’s care and an artist’s eye to his magnum opus—a shivery swirl of adventure provoking double-takes of recognition: They are us. Rich, funny, moving, and wise.
—Joan Frank, author of The Outlook for Earthlings
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sad, mysterious, tender, sometimes hilarious and occasionally savage. But they all have a couple of things in common: real-as-life characters you'll want to spend time with, and an elegant readability that will make that time go much too fast.
—Jim Nichols, author of Blue Summer, winner of the 2021 Maine Fiction Award
Like Toni Morrison, Gary Eller knows salvation is always the motive, whether the crime is murder—or love.
—Paul M. Hedeen, author of The Butterfly
“engrossing… Through unflinching narration, Eller submerges readers into the bleak, but lushly imagined, inner worlds of the Little Shays, the Breens, the Morinvilles, and the Peaveys, as they grapple with each other for primacy of place and survival.
—Debra Marquart, author of
The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere
“Funny, compelling, and often disturbing, True North introduces us to characters who endure despite poverty and cruel Fate, and we cheer for them because of and despite their desperation. This novel shows us a new angry Eller, and it's a justified anger in the tradition of Ed Abbey and Kurt Vonnegut.
—Hank Nuwer, author of Sons of the Dawn
True North follows the stories of three interconnected families living along the Canadian Border and the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in North Dakota from the 1930's through the 1960's. Each character was written very real, raw and gritty. I wanted to know their stories and was carried through their journeys with each misfortune, setback and trial that they faced.
—LibraryThing Early Reviewers
“…I was fully immersed in the narrative…it is a beautiful, aching book.
San Francisco Book Review
“…it evoked John Steinbeck and even Edith Wharton. While it is a bleak book in so many ways, the story and characters ring true. The imagery is beautiful. I recommend it as a realistic account of life in this place and time.
—Elizabeth, Goodreads Reviewer
True North vaults Gary Eller's novel into the status of a North Dakota main event and an earned place on bookstore shelves with distinguished authors Louise Erdrich, Wallace Stegner, and Gerald Haslam.
—University of Nebraska Press
Great read with beautiful description and well-crafted characters!
—Jamie, NetGalley Reviewer
Winner: Bronze Medal, Midwest - Best Regional Fiction Novel
Independent Publisher Book Awards, 2022