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The Griefmaker


A gripping, finely crafted read with a cast of compelling characters. High-school friends and rivals, Tenbrook and Pillars, find themselves on opposite sides of a barbed wire fence when one decides to plow and develop the native prairie they hunted together as youths. Gurley lays bare a boiling feud pitting preservationist against developer, working man against moneyed power, and old values against new desires. The Griefmaker digs at the edges of our social unrest, turns over new ground in unearthing what motivates people to greed, and what motivates others to love.

The rolling fields of Kansas are the backdrop of this epic tale of conflict, unrequited love, self-discovery and redemption. Tenbrook and Pillars played football together in school, and as they enter middle-age, they now play a game of chicken, gambling with the women they desire, the land they both cherish, and the underworld. At stake is the fate of the Griefmaker, a thousand acre piece of virgin prairie, never broken by a plow. Once owned by Tenbrook’s family, the Griefmaker is now in the hands of Pillars. Tenbrook wants to preserve the prairie; Pillars want to develop it. When Pillars plows up the Griefmaker, the stage is set for a conflict that leads to crime and violence.

For Tenbrook, the Griefmaker is not just a priceless remnant of the tallgrass prairie—it’s also a sanctuary for the soul. Filled with the haunting beauty and wide, brimless skies of Kansas, as well as the hedonistic opulence of a tropical island, The Griefmaker lays bare the American struggle for progress and tradition. A story of love, death, and perhaps atonement. Readers who enjoyed John Ford’s Canada, Cormac McCarthy’s Sutree, Ian McEwan’s Amsterdam, and Edna O’Brien’s Wild Decembers will enjoy The Griefmaker.

THE GRIEFMAKER: 978-1-941237-88-5



Softcover, Hardcover

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