Things change when Joe meets Ana, whose Nez Perce ancestors once called this valley home. Joe joins Ana’s cause to restore a lost sockeye salmon run to the lake where he grew up. As their relationship deepens, their peril grows. Somebody wants them gone – or dead.
The escalating threats rekindle a fire Joe thought was dead or buried in him. When his jealous brother tries to develop the family’s land, Joe must make a stand.
In the end, Joe discovers a life worth living, with a woman he was meant to love, in the place he was meant to live. And he realizes the redemption possible in a deep connection to the land.
A Note From the Publisher
Average rating from 3 members
Joe is an alcoholic who has exiled himself in Alaska, away from his family, when he gets news of his father’s death. He returns to Sockeye, Oregon, where he faces the demons of his past and finds a possible future with Ana, a Nez Perce woman who is trying to return the Sockeye Salmon to the area.! Although this book is very much about family, fathers, and sons, the main theme is the land and how we care for it. All of the extremes are represented. There is a businessman/politician who wants to sell and develop the land into commercial property. There is a group of activists who want to bring the salmon back to Sockeye, and there is an extreme environmentalist who is willing to use violence to achieve his goals. And in the middle are Joe, Ana, and many others who love the land and want to protect it. As the battle rages over the salmon, Joe and Ana deal with prejudice, suspicion, and violence, as well as Joe’s problems with alcohol and memories of the past. I enjoyed this book very much. As I sit on my own little patch of land in the Smoky Mountains, I understand very well the theme of loving the land and wanting to protect it. Joe and Ana’s connection to the land is very well written and will speak to those of us who feel the way they do. If you love nature, books about strong families, and books about struggling with the past, you will enjoy this book. I received A free copy of this book from Black Rose Writing and Netgalley. My review is voluntary.
Do sons need to atone for the failings of their fathers? The author explores this issue in this sad and revealing story set in one of Oregon’s most beautiful locales. Joe Wallace left under the pressure of an alcoholic father and a murdered fiancée. He thought Alaska and a life of fishing could keep him insulated from the loneliness and heartbreak of lost love. But life does not offer solitude as forgiveness for forgotten memories. Joe comes back for the funeral of his father only to confront the devils of his past. Do-gooders are attempting to restore the salmon runs in outback Oregon. They see the controlled waterways and dams as a total rape of the natural environment. There is sibling rivalry between Joe and his older brother. The family homestead of 160 acres is a prime opportunity for development. He needs to have Joe and his sister McKenzie agree to sell the property, but neither of them wants to sell. A young Nez Perce Indian lady is part of a consortium to blow up the dam and revert the land and river to its’ natural flow but most of the small town is against the plan because the dam provides life-giving water to the ranches and farms. No matter which way they turn, the Wallace family is going to make enemies. Alcoholism is a cruel taskmaster and the bottle was a convenient crutch. The young lady, Ana, falls in love with Joe. The old adage that two people influenced by alcohol will always seek each other holds true in the story. Disaster is always a bottle away. These well-developed characters fight through this problem and it almost destroys them. A son is born to them and Ana struggles to keep Joe centered on his new family. This narrative is well developed and engaging. Anyone coming from a broken home destroyed by alcohol will recognize much of this storyline. I found the story compelling. 4/5 stars CE Williams
Joe returns from a self-imposed exile to Alaska to Oregon after his father's death. Joe left home due to his alcoholic father and after his fiance was murdered. In Alaska, he used alcohol to cope with his pain. Upon his return to Oregon, he is forced to deal with sibling rivalry and convincing his two siblings that selling the land that they now own is in their best interests. When Joe meets Ana, a woman that is also dealing with alcoholism, he is faced with a whole new set of issues when they have a son together. This is a realistic portrait of what life is like for adult children of alcoholics and how alcohol can affect their entire lives. This was a very well-written novel.