In this poetic and haunting tale set in contemporary Appalachia, New York Times best-selling author Ron Rash illuminates lives shaped by violence and a powerful connection to the land.
Les, a longtime sheriff just three weeks from retirement, contends with the ravages of crystal meth and his own duplicity in his small Appalachian town.
Becky, a park ranger with a harrowing past, finds solace amid the lyrical beauty of this patch of North Carolina.
Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have indelibly marked them, they are drawn together by a reverence for the natural world. When an irascible elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream, Les and Becky are plunged into deep and dangerous waters, forced to navigate currents of disillusionment and betrayal that will force them to question themselves and test their tentative bond - and threaten to carry them over the edge.
Echoing the heartbreaking beauty of William Faulkner and the spiritual isolation of Carson McCullers, Above the Waterfall demonstrates once again the prodigious talent of "a gorgeous, brutal writer" (Richard Price) hailed as "one of the great American authors at work today" (Janet Maslin, New York Times).
©2015 Ron Rash (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
Although I found the writing pleasant, the story line was outside my liking. I am certain it will be enjoyed by others, simply not me.
Ron Rash is an OK writer. There is nothing wrong with his work, but it is not particularly enlightening. It's not much of a mystery compared to someone like Toby Neal, for example, but it is a nice story. The characters are one dimensional. The poetic nature descriptions feel gratuitous and Rash's inability to portray romance is laughable. "Then we made love." This is a work that took three years to write, but it feels like the product of a writing mill, not a thoughtful, talented, serious writer.
A promising and interesting story repeatedly interrupted by a breathless and overwrought third/first person female narration and dreadful flights in to bad nature poetry.
The story is suspenseful, and does a nice job capturing the cultural and domestic circumstances that drive it, however, I could not get over the self-conscious narration and prose of the female character.
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