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Publisher's Summary

“An epic love story . . . No greater reading pleasure to be had anywhere.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“No one writes about love or the American wilderness like Bill Roorbach . . . Thrilling.”—Lily King, author of Writers & Lovers and Five Tuesdays in Winter

When sixteen-year-old Cindra Zoeller is sent to a reform camp in Montana after being involved in an armed robbery, she is thrust into a world of mountains and cowboys and prayers and miscreants and people from all walks of life like she’s never seen in suburban Massachusetts. At Camp Challenge, she becomes transfixed by Lucky, a camp employee of mysterious origin—an origin of constant speculation—and the chemistry between them is instant, and profound. The pair escape together into the wilderness to create an idyllic life far from the reach of the law, living off their resounding love, Lucky’s vast knowledge of the wilderness, and a little help from some friends.

But they can run from the outside world for only so long, and the consequences of their naïve fantasy of a future together—and circumstances shaped by skin color—will keep them apart for decades. Cindra gets trapped in a relationship, safely if stultifyingly suburban, where she is both cosseted and controlled by a man who claims to be her rescuer. But for Cindra, there will never be another Lucky, and she dreams of one day finding him, the only man she’s ever fully trusted, her soulmate.

Thrilling, full of vivid characters, delicious suspense, and ultimately joy, Lucky Turtle is a big-hearted, deeply engrossing love story from one of our most entertaining and perceptive writers.

©2022 Bill Roorbach (P)2022 Algonquin Books

Critic Reviews

“An unforgettable love story.”People

“Fans of Roorbach’s prolific work will appreciate his signature lyricism and sense of place, his sweeping narrative, humor and romance. New readers are walking into the hands of a skilled storyteller who’s not afraid to take on a big, messy tale of love, privilege and abuse.”New York Times Book Review 

“Nobody else could have written this gorgeous novel, full to the brim with tragedy but also fun, as well as the best kind of romance—embracing so much more than the couple at its center. Cindra is an impeccably loyal and honest narrator, our perfect guide through the wilds of Montana. Lucky Turtle is an ode and a love letter to our wounded, imperfect, and oh-so-beautiful world.”—Nina de Gramont, author of The Christie Affair 

What listeners say about Lucky Turtle

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good book after a alow start

started slow and didn't really like it. but I warmed up to it. a good story. happy ending

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Enthralling Story

This is an engaging story about love and loss, about growth and rebirth, the relationships between people and cultures and how some embrace the differences while others are violently repulsed by them. It also deals with self identity in many different iterations.

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Loved this book!

Great and interesting story Beautifully written with sensitivity. Never wanted to put it down. Highly recommend! Now I want to read other Roorbach novels.

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Stunningly engaging

This story holds your attention, stretches your imagination and nourishes both your humor and compassion. Brilliant!

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I like happy endings BUT

Luck Turtle started out promising and I held out for hours hoping for some complexity or insight. The characters take nonsensical incongruous turns. A 17 year old Cindra brilliantly takes down a lecherous doctor but a year later falls victim to her psychologist? The title character who is an almost mute mountain man at first reading winds up living in San Francisco as an extroverted outreach worker? And worst of all, every single one of the protagonists becomes wildly successful in life. Throw in cliched Native American references and a character giving away millions of dollars in Montana real estate and everybody’s happy! Can’t wait for the Hallmark movie.

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Hated for this to end!

What a beautiful book. I didn't want it to end and I know this book will stay with me. just excellent

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Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!

I just finished the book and I am so sorry it is over. Beautifully narrated, Lucky Turtle is the most evocative book I’ve listened to in a long time, and it will stay with me for ages. At times heartbreaking, at times peaceful, it is a love story through and through: love of the earth, love of place, love of friends and family. Excellent excellent excellent.