Set beneath the foothills of Fort Collins, Colorado, this beautifully written novel tells first of a tiny fragment of the short grass prairie that historically blanketed much of the American West. A place where water is scarce, soil alkaline, and food hard to come by, the Cathy Fromme Prairie is an old presence unperturbed by the violent collisions of her inhabitants. Life on the prairie is hard. Then come the people. Though the affluent suburban homes that border the prairie lack no amenities, those who live here collide, too. Pat is a widow, who must daily confront her daughter's selfishness. Her neighbours, the Blackburns, apprehensively await the arrival of their first child. Down the street, the town's pre-eminent cardiac surgeon regards his son's desire to act with arrogant disdain. When the doctor is accused of malpractice and the Blackburns' new baby mysteriously disappears, the fragile equilibrium of the entire community implodes. A novel of brilliant parallels, "Coyote Ridge" explores the nature of love, loss, and balance between two worlds.
In language as lyrical as notes from a flute, Mihaljevich draws the world of the prairie and world of people closer and closer until the difference between them blurs, then dissipates. What remains are echoes that sound softly, one upon the other, until there is no doubt: what we have here is a song, indeed.