A boy narrates his life in a lumber mill community in the Pacific Northwest. He is Culver, whose father died shooting rapids after which his mother married his uncle, or is the uncle his real father? The novel features forest fires, rapids, Indians, murder, family drama and the plight of the lumber industry. By the author of River Song.
Mr. Lesley has a habit of inscribing this book "I hope this honors the rural, small-town West." I think it does.
It's a story that starts small, in the details of a working-class life lived close to the bone, and opens up into the camaraderie, suspicions, and humor of a rich small-town life. The characters in the town and on the neighboring reservation are engaging and real. The plot draws you on from the narrator's concerns to town mysteries, and is ultimately driven by the cataclysms that can either shatter or cement a community.