The Scent of Distant Family


The Scent of Distant Family

A Novel

sid sibo

266 pages


September 2024


$24.95 Pre-order

About the Book

Set against the backdrop of a remote location in the throes of rapid development, Nik Delaney leaves a respected career in wildlife biology to return home to Wyoming. In the Rocky Mountain winter, every relationship Nik has wears even thinner as she cares for her aging father, faces a crumbling marriage, and parents Finn, the son of her antagonistic brother. Then Zolo, her foster dog, runs away.

Nik’s search for Zolo in the vast and unforgiving landscape introduces her to the eccentric residents of the high sagebrush, including a rancher trying to run an ecolodge in oil country and a displaced herd of wild mustangs led by a mare called Tess. Zolo and Tess learn to rely on each other to thrive, but even with her father’s life at stake, Nik resists relying on the desert’s scattered community.

This story of loyalty and deception in western Wyoming expands our sense of who we choose to consider family.

Author Bio

sid sibo cofounded an animal shelter and lives in western Wyoming with more than thirty rescued companion animals. sibo earned the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award, and selections of sibo’s work are included in Best Small Fictions 2022, Reader Centered Writing, and Maine Character Energy and have been published in Orca, Cutthroat, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Evocations, and Fourth River.


“What begins as a lost-dog story quickly develops into an unfolding tapestry of life. Families and strangers, along with animals, wild and domestic—from a herd of horses to a hibernating boa—are woven into an intricate mosaic of relationships of which, ultimately, you yourself will become a part. Only at the very end, as you close the book, can you step back and savor the whole experience as if from outside of time itself. A masterly achievement that will leave you moved, both emotionally and thoughtfully.”—Michael Mountain, cofounder of the Whale Sanctuary Project and founding editor of Best Friends Magazine

“When I cast my eyes on the first paragraph, I knew that I was in good hands. sid sibo writes taut sentences: clean as sunlight and as bracing as the winds of Wyoming. In The Scent of a Distant Family sibo weaves life stories together with poise. The characters take hold of you—like the sight of a band of mustangs in the sage.”—Chad Hanson, author of In a Land of Awe: Finding Reverence in the Search for Wild Horses

The Scent of Distant Family is such a rich read for all five senses. I’m left especially in awe of  how sid sibo illustrates the lives of dogs, wolves, and horses just as keenly and validly as those of the humans. Anyone who scoffs at anthropomorphizing need only read one of sibo’s sentences to see what we gain when we write non-human beings as more than clichés or part of the scenery. The author takes the age-old lost dog story and delivers it anew. . . . The author’s personal knowledge of the landscape and lifestyles adds so much authenticity and guarantees the reader will be fully transported. I could read an entire series about Nik and the family she’s found in this beautifully written story of searching.”—Suzanne Strempek Shea, author of Make a Wish but Not for Money

Table of Contents

1. Chapter One
2. Chapter Two
3. Chapter Three
4. Chapter Four
5. Chapter Five
6. Chapter Six
7. Chapter Seven
8. Chapter Eight
9. Chapter Nine
10. Chapter Ten
11. Chapter Eleven
12. Chapter Twelve
13. Chapter Thirteen

Also of Interest