New York Times "Hulse’s talent is evidenced by her nuanced portrayal of Jo and the way she sees the world. In her relationship with Asa, in particular — both are scarred, both trying to heal — Hulse (whose debut, “Black River,” also featured a traumatized protagonist in Montana) perfectly captures not only the landscape of the American West, but also what it feels like to survive in a town that is dying." -Alexi Zentner
L. A. Times "In the climactic closing scenes, Hulse delivers a thrillerish exploration of the dueling urges to save or punish in the face of violence. Our salvation lies in our ability to adapt, Hulse suggests, to extricate ourselves from the ruts of anger and ideology." -Mark Athitakis
Amazon Book Review "Hulse is a master storyteller―with every revelation she leads you further into the complex realization of how fanaticism and violence can erupt in a landscape as beautiful as Montana. A searing, eviscerating novel by a great, great writer." -Al Woodworth
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "Hulse follows up her strong debut Black River with an even stronger novel about the fallout from an act of domestic terrorism . . . [A] dense yet lucid narrative. The nail-biting denouement is violent yet restrained, an additional sign of this young writer's mature artistic powers . . . Reflective, evocative, and quietly moving."
Publishers Weekly "[A] taut, poignant tale...the dramatic conclusion kicks like a mule, a testament to Hulse’s storytelling acumen."
"Many Crowns" (The Spokesman-Review) I wrote this new short story for the Summer Stories series in my local newspaper. Local writers each wrote a story in some way related to the theme "The Summer of '69."
Reviews and News about Black River
The Washington Post "Impressive...[A] tough, honest novel by a surprisingly wise young writer."
The Los Angeles Review of Books "The assured rhythms of the language convey grace, restraint, insights, power, and beauty. Black River transcends its setting and the circumstances of a few people in a small Montana town to say something true and enduring about violence and families, and grief and compassion."
The Guardian "Black River is a powerful meditation on faith, family and redemption."
The Boston Globe "Hulse evokes the Montana landscape in lyrical, vivid prose...[she] is a gifted wordsmith with promising dramatic instincts."
The Seattle Times "[A] complex and powerful story — put 'Black River' on the must-read list for 2015."
The Oregonian "Whether or not one reads it as a western, "Black River" is surely about the everyday heroism of people, not larger than, but the actual size of life."
BBC "This first novel pulses with dramatic tension and emotional resonance...Hulse’s story is lyrical, elegiac and authentic."
Seattle Magazine "This striking debut novel...has earned critical comparisons to the work of Larry McMurtry, Annie Proulx and Wallace Stegner—and deservedly so."
Bookslut "Hulse carves a character seemingly sprung from the Montana mountains, emphasizing his musical abilities as the thread to his compassion and humanity."
Drunk Monkeys "[Black River] is an accomplished Western novel that should signal the arrival of a major literary talent."
"Across the Water" (The Spokesman-Review) I wrote this new short story for the Summer Stories series in my local newspaper. Ten local writers each wrote a story in some way related to the theme "The Lake."
Midwestern Gothic Interview In this interview, I talk about my time in Wisconsin, my research process, why I don't worry too much about writer's block, and a few of my favorite books.
Authorlink Interview This interview covers a lot of ground, including character development, the role of setting, and the theme of faith in Black River, as well as more details about my writing process.
Drunk Monkeys Interview An interview with the online literary magazine Drunk Monkeys. Among other things, I talk about why I like reading and writing about the West but sometimes resist the "Western fiction" label.
Book Lust with Nancy Pearl An episode of Nancy Pearl's book discussion television show. Pearl and I discuss Black River, its characters and settings, and why I publish under my initials.