The American River Trilogy
by Mallory M. O’Connor
American River: Tributaries
Book One of the American River Trilogy
In the mid-1800s, three immigrant families—Irish, Mexican, and Japanese—settled along the banks of the American River in Northern California. A century later only one family remains. Artists, musicians, poets and politicians—the inheritors of their immigrant ancestors’ hopes and dreams— the members of a new generation make their way through the turbulent decade of the sixties. From the concert halls of Europe to Kyoto’s ancient avenues, and Manhattan’s artist’s lofts to San Francisco’s North Beach, they learn the price they must pay in order to realize their dreams. But when an unexpected tragedy brings the three families together, they find that they are torn apart by conflicting opinions, dangerous secrets, engrained prejudices, and their own lofty ambitions.
Set against the natural beauty of Northern California, O’Connor weaves a complex tapestry of interrelationships and betrayals that captures the mood and resonance of a decade that began in innocence and ended in dismay.
“American River-Tributaries, Mallory O’Connor’s brilliant first novel in a planned trilogy, weaves a complex tapestry that shows us that immigrant bigotry did not start with Trump’s call for a wall.”
— Hilary Hemingway, author of Hemingway in Cuba
“A real page turner, with several generations of fascinating characters in complex, intertwined relationships. One also gets a sense of the history of Northern California and wonderful descriptions of places, landscapes, and seasons.”
—Diana Kurz, artist, New York City
American River: Currents
Book Two of the American River Trilogy
In the second book of the American River trilogy, a cavalcade of disastersboth personal and public threatens to overwhelm the scattered members of the McPhalan, Ashida, and Morales clans during the tumultuous 1960s.
Kate still mourning the death of her brother, Julian finds herself torn between her love for Carl, now a celebrated conductor who is looking for career opportunities on the East Coast, and her devotion to the West and especially the family ranch at Mockingbird. Also, while attending a music festival in Venice, Italy, she meets Stefan Molnar, a renowned concert pianist, who has become her sister Alex’s mentor (and lover). As Kate and Stefan’s unintentional relationship grows, complications multiply.
Meanwhile, Tommy Ashida, now studying in Japan, falls in love with Emiko Namura, the beautiful, sheltered daughter of a Tokyo businessman. He hopes she holds the key to understanding his Japanese heritage, but will that knowledge lead to happiness or something darker?
Determined to make her mark in the male-dominated art world, Kates mother, Marian, decides to move to New York while Kates father, Owen, becomes involved in local politics. When he is elected to the California Assembly, he finds himself in direct opposition to Jorge Morales, Carl’s father.
Alliances fray, relationships dissolve, divisive secrets are revealed, and promises are broken as the members of three California families struggle to salvage their shattered dreams.
Set against the natural beauty of Northern California, O’Connor weaves a complex tapestry of interrelationships and betrayals that captures the mood and resonance of a decade that began in innocence and ended in despair.
American River: Currents, Book Two of the American River Trilogy, is filled with passionate and resolute characters who refuse to let go of their unique visions of success even as life’s tumultuous currents threaten to sweep them all away.
American River: Confluence
Book Three of the American River Trilogy
Book three of the American River Trilogy begins with the three families—the McPhalans, the Morales, and the Ashidas—in turmoil. Following Owen McPhalan’s death, his daughter Kate has inherited Mockingbird Valley Ranch only to discover that the once profitable family business is no longer sustainable. Desperate to find a way to save Mockingbird, she struggles to formulate a plan. But she hasn’t counted on the wrath of Dan Papadakis, Owen’s former campaign manager, who is working behind the scenes to undermine her efforts.
American River: Confluence is the culmination of a compelling historical drama about the lives, loves, triumphs and sacrifices of the descendants of three immigrant families who settled along California’s American River, and who are called upon to put aside a decade full of grievances and betrayals to try to save the history and legacy of their ancestral home.
“Filled with descriptions of the beauty and grace of some of the United States’ greatest cities and areas, [this] is a true American story. As it delves into the realities of the various divides Americans coped with in the sixties, readers will be rooting for O’Connor’s . . . characters’ [whose] voices, personalities, and lifestyles are so unique, memorable, and engaging that it is nearly impossible to forget them.”
— The Book Review Directory
“The complex relationships and family crises effectively parallel the turbulence of the era that provides backdrop for additive melodrama.”
“O’Connor’s writing is lyrical and bold, suffused with the sensibility of painters and pianists. She is a master of still-life renderings of meadow, mountain and mood, and of sheer action.”
—Greg Dawson, Author of Busted in Bloomington and Hiding in the Spotlight