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Saints at the River
by Ron Rash

Overview -

A major new Southern voice emerges in this novel about a town divided by the aftermath of a tragic accident--and the woman caught in the middle

When a twelve-year-old girl drowns in the Tamassee River and her body is trapped in a deep eddy, the people of the small South Carolina town that bears the river's name are thrown into the national spotlight.  Read more...


 
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More About Saints at the River by Ron Rash
 
 
 
Overview

A major new Southern voice emerges in this novel about a town divided by the aftermath of a tragic accident--and the woman caught in the middle

When a twelve-year-old girl drowns in the Tamassee River and her body is trapped in a deep eddy, the people of the small South Carolina town that bears the river's name are thrown into the national spotlight. The girl's parents want to attempt a rescue of the body; environmentalists are convinced the rescue operation will cause permanent damage to the river and set a dangerous precedent. Torn between the two sides is Maggie Glenn, a twenty-eight-year-old newspaper photographer who grew up in the town and has been sent to document the incident. Since leaving home almost ten years ago, Maggie has done her best to avoid her father, but now, as the town's conflict opens old wounds, she finds herself revisiting the past she's fought so hard to leave behind. Meanwhile, the reporter who's accompanied her to cover the story turns out to have a painful past of his own, and one that might stand in the way of their romance.
Drawing on the same lyrical prose and strong sense of place that distinguished his award-winning first novel, "One Foot in Eden," Ron Rash has written a book about the deepest human themes: the love of the land, the hold of the dead on the living, and the need to dive beneath the surface to arrive at a deeper truth. "Saints at the River" confirms the arrival of one of today's most gifted storytellers.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780312424916
  • ISBN-10: 0312424914
  • Publisher: Picador USA
  • Publish Date: July 2005
  • Page Count: 239


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Books > Fiction > General

 
BookPage Reviews

Saints at the River

Set in a small town in South Carolina, Rash's engaging second novel tells the story of a family marked by tragedy and the unique battle they engage in to achieve closure. When the young daughter of an affluent banker drowns in the Tamassee River, her family—employing its wealth and influence—begins a campaign to build a dam so that they can retrieve her body. But they're opposed by a group of local environmentalists, who will stop at nothing to protect the river. Keeping track of this conflict is a young photojournalist named Maggie Glenn, who comes to sympathize with both sides as she covers the dispute for a nearby newspaper. Maggie grew up in the town where events are unfolding, and she makes an appealing narrator, recounting her past and revisiting her troubled relationship with her father—a conflict that comes to a head during her visit. Maggie also finds herself increasingly attracted to writer Allen Hemphill, a Pulitzer Prize finalist who has joined her to document the family's story. But Allen is haunted by dark events from his own past—a tragedy that may prevent him from embarking on a new life with Maggie. Rash brings a winning authenticity to this distinctly Southern narrative.

A reading group guide is available online at www.picadorusa.com.

—JULIE HALE

 
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