Don Metz Logo

Don Metz maintains a small, selective practice in Lyme, NH, concentrating on challenging residential projects

Don Metz's new book
"Confessions of a Country Architect"

is now available


Don Metz's Confessions describes the life of a residential country architect with wry humor and pathos. This book will delight all those who have built a house, forearm those summoning up the courage to do so, and calm those who realize their talents might be better confined to an armchair with a view. Readers will be seduced by the author's adventures as he confronts the awkward, intractable, and hilariously messy job of building dreams.

Order from the publisher or Amazon now.

Catamount Bridge

Catamount Bridge the book

Subtle and vivid, this first novel about three generations of a Vermont farm family in the mid-1960s shines with the clarity of clean New England air. Bodie and Harmon Woodward are twins whose father, Purdy, was killed in World War II. They live on the family farm with their mother Vera, grandfather Leon and Harmon's wife Darlene, who is newly pregnant at the story's start. When their draft notices arrive, Harmon, always the more aggressive and successful, is ready to go to Vietnam. Bodie says he'll flee to Canada. The weeks before Harmon's departure are filled with tension over which brother has fathered Darlene's child. Harmon's doubts are based on a half-hour that Bodie and Darlene spent, with his own drunken encouragement, inside an arch of Catamount Bridge. In unspoken agreement, neither Bodie nor Darlene tells Harmon what happened there, and once he has left, this reticence troubles both their consciences sorely. While Harmon sends increasingly disturbing letters from Vietnam, Bodie ignores additional notices from his draft board and installs a trailer home for Darlene behind the farm house, reflecting as he works on the life he expects to leave. Carefully attentive to local speech, landscape and custom, Metz conveys Yankee reticence along with its underlying passion, building to a conclusion that satisfies on all counts. His powerful and lovely novel in which absence matters as much as presence is sure to linger in readers' imaginations.

Catamount Bridge was a Literary Guild alternate selection.

Catamount Bridge is superb, a riveting tale of sibling rivalry told with mastery. There is not a single false note in the book, so that the reader is compelled and convinced from start to finish. A wonderful story, brilliantly told.

––Richard Selzer


“Maybe some first novels get better than this, but not so’s you’d notice it…What makes this book so special is the impressive structure Don Metz, an architect and author of three books on architecture, has built up around it. He writes beautifully, investing even the common details of life, such as digging a basement or hanging out the wash, with authentic human meaning. He nails down literal and emotional truths other writers throw away with the trash…From the timeless details of Vermont farm living or deer hunting to the exact description of soldiers’ reactions in Vietnam when called on by their lieutenant to volunteer for a deadly mission, Metz hammers together a downright work of art, better than most bestsellers, and some prize winners I could mention, as well.”

Milwaukee Journal


“I enjoyed Don Metz’s novel. These tough and passionate New England men will stay in my mind forever. Don Metz tells a powerful and fascinating story,”

Annie Dillard


Catamount Bridge is remarkable, certainly for a first novel, but it would even be for a fifth. It is an image so charged with feeling and meaning it lifts real people in a real place to a mythic level and the novel itself into the realm of art.”

David Madden


Catamount Bridge is a terrific story: original, well-written and abounding with some of the most marvelous, idiosyncratic characters I’ve encountered in years and years. Don Metz seems to know all there is to know about the northern New England hill country, and he’s created his own wonderful place and populated it with folks as believable and interesting as my own Vermont neighbors. Catamount Bridge is a splendid novel.”

Howard Frank Mosher


Catamount Bridge is a fine debut. Don Metz displays great control. His characters are all well rendered, blended into the vividly harsh landscape of New England, and he tells a story that involves his reader, well paced and textured with the telling specifics that embody his serious and profound theme.”

Gordon Weaver