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West of Here
Indie Next ListFebruary 2011
I loved this big, gorgeous novel in which characters and story lines flow, merge, and diverge like the streams and channels of a river. The story spans more than 100 years in the fictional town of Port Bonita, Washington, and its surrounding wilderness. Evison pulls together such grand themes as our relationship to the land, what we make of our past, and what we owe the future. His writing style is unpretentious and delightful, a combination of big ideas and down-to-earth, friendly delivery that's perfectly suited to this quintessentially American novel. -- Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop &, Mendocino, CA
At the foot of the Elwha River, the muddy outpost of Port Bonita is about to boom, fueled by a ragtag band of dizzyingly disparate men and women unified only in their visions of a more prosperous future. A failed accountant by the name of Ethan Thornburgh has just arrived in Port Bonita to reclaim the woman he loves and start a family. Ethan s obsession with a brighter future impels the damming of the mighty Elwha to harness its power and put Port Bonita on the map.
More than a century later, his great-great grandson, a middle manager at a failing fish- packing plant, is destined to oversee the undoing of that vision, as the great Thornburgh dam is marked for demolition, having blocked the very lifeline that could have sustained the town. "West of Here" is a grand and playful odyssey, a multilayered saga of destiny and greed, adventure and passion, that chronicles the life of one small town, turning America s history into myth, and myth into a nation s shared experience.