Ordinary Bear
Ordinary Bear

Ordinary Bear

Sale price $25.99
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A Rap Sheet Pick for Spring

Dark and humorous, literary but with the heart of a detective novel, Ordinary Bear weighs the burden of grief while exploring our boundless capacity for humanity, kindness, and hope.

Farley stands out among his Iñupiat neighbors in the Alaska village he calls home, both white and enormous, like the hungry polar bears that wander its streets. Jovial and a little hapless, he works as an investigator for a North Slope oil company, passing the long Arctic winters drinking whiskey with the village’s preacher and playing in the weekly poker game hosted by its matriarch and mayor.

When his young daughter visits from thousands of miles away in Portland—where she lives with her mother, who despises him—a shocking moment of violence leaves her dead and Farley injured. Crippled by his wounds and hamstrung with guilt over his inability to save her, he goes home to Oregon to try to make amends.

There he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a single mother and her daughter. With their help, he begins the slow process of healing—until the girl goes missing. Faced with the opportunity to do what he couldn’t do for his own daughter, Farley sets out on a brutal odyssey through Portland’s quirky and dangerous underworld, using his wits and his fists to try to save her life along with the shattered remains of his own.