Epic is far too tame a description for this ambitious novel set in a fictional Northwest town on the Olympic Peninsula. Evison gleefully chews up the landscape from 1890 to 2006. Dreamers and drifters, entrepreneurs, scoundrels, and hardworking everyday people all had a hand in settling the Northwest. Big trees, lots of rain, and an unparalleled lushness defined the land. In the 1890’s the settlers had lots of beautiful blank canvas to sculpt their desires. Jagged peaked, majestic Olympic Mountains, windswept sea, deep lakes, and the roar of the rushing river, all stood splendidly untouched before them. By 2006 the consequences of their choices were home to roost. Evison treats his characters well, using humor and respect to drive his story forward. He captures the landscape as only someone who loves it can understand this gorgeous wild piece of the northwest.
Evison doesn’t pretty up his characters, he lets them have plenty grit. These are men and women who struggle to find their way, make poor choices, recover as best they can and move on with their lives. He skillfully blends the story of the 1890’s settlers and adventurers who saw no limit to the resources and dove in with unrestrained ambition to harness the wilderness for profit and posterity with their descendants in 2006 and the consequences of all that wild enthusiasm. When Evison describes a river or a mountain valley it feels like stepping straight into the Olympics, he puts you right there.— Deon Stonehouse
February 2011 Indie Next List
“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