Artist Sophie Smith “listens” to fossils to seek inspiration, but her latest subjects, a pair of ape-like human ancestors millions of years old, could give her something else as well. Never has she needed a clear perspective on human descent so much, for now she is unexpectedly pregnant.
As Sophie struggles to make art and make a decision, her speculations frame and introduce the real stories of seventy-five years in a proto-human community, the “foot-ape” Tribe of the River Confluence. There is the community founder who must make a terrible choice to reclaim her power and her dignity. There is the man who defends his family from famine in ways at once human and beastly. There is the woman who crosses a mountain range for a chance at saving her children. And more. Sophie can wonder, draw solace, and make decisions about her own legacy, but she cannot know these stories. She cannot learn why one of her fossil subjects is holding the fossil of a flower.
A lot of my blog posts are also going to be Rose-related, discussing how and why I wrote the novel, upcoming promotion events, and other related stories. Stay tuned!