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Saints at the River by Ron Rash

Saints at the River

by Ron Rash

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Rash's prose creates clear images of his characters and locations. The characters behave true to themselves so that I understand their actions. This book is a study of a tragedy and the impact on a federally designated wild and natural river. Each person's views are described so coherently and beautifully. l love his works. ( )
  bereanna | Jul 11, 2016 |
I loved this book for the richness of language and story. The characters are memorable, the struggle is one that focuses on the emotional tensions that run high during a tragedy. There are layers to the narrative that I enjoy, from the point of view of the family of the victim, the rescuers, and the reporters sent to cover the story. For me, Ron's books always provide a window into the very best and worst parts of human nature, and this is no exception. ( )
  bookartist | Dec 24, 2015 |
Saints at the River was much better than I had expected. I picked it because it had been mentioned by a member of the group and because the setting was one that I was familiar with having lived in the Clemson area for over thirty years. Indeed I can see the Appalachian mountains on a clear day and when we first came here we lived on the Oconee side of Hartwell lake for a while.

The novel begins with the drowning of a yough girl whose family is visiting the area. She waded out into the river because she wanted to stand with one foot in South Carolina and one in Georgia. Unfortunately this is a white water river and much more dangerous that it looked. Her parents are obsessed with recovering her body while the locals know that it is nearly impossible and the environmentalists don't want the river and its watershed disturbed. This leads to multiple confrontations between the groups with national politicians becoming involved.

Ron Rash also lived in this area for several years and has spent most of his life in the Southern Appalachians. His descriptions of the countryside , the seasons, and the local people are wonderful.

Recommended for those who like Southern fiction.
  hailelib | Jan 26, 2014 |
A twelve year old girl vacationing with her family wades out into the Tamassee River and is swept over the falls downstream. Now her parents want to recover her body and local environmentalists, fisher and kayakers are worried that the method suggested will damage the area around the river and set a precedent allowing for developers to move in. Maggie Glenn is a photographer with a Colombia-based paper, sent to cover the story with a reporter because she is from Oconee county, where the accident occurred.

The story circles around the motivations of both groups, with neither being identified as good or bad. Well, the developer was pretty close to a stock villain, with his habit of simply paying any nominal fines for pollution rather than taking the more expensive and time-consuming measures to fix things. Even Rash's notable writing talents did not stretch that far. There's a secondary story about Maggie's broken relationship to her father and her conflicted feelings about being back in her hometown. This was as early novel by Rash, and so it lacks some of the complexity and nuance of his later works, like Serena, but it was a well-written and highly readable book beautifully set in the mountains of South Carolina. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Dec 16, 2013 |
When the 12-year-old daughter of a wealthy banker drowns in South Carolina's Tamassee River, her death sets off an emotionally charged battle between the grieving parents, who want to put up a dam to recover her body, and the local environmentalists, who will risk everything to defend the pristine state of their river. Summary BPL

Nicely put together, rather short piece about love in its diversity: love for pristine, wild water; love for a drowned daughter; first love; mature love; parental and filial love. And about loss: loss of life, of thousands of lives; loss of wholeness. Ron Rash certainly doesn't wring the meaning out of every scene. Less is more here--refreshing subtle! It's nice when an author trusts the reader to figure it out.

7.5 out of 10 Something for everyone in this: photography, environmentalism, father-daughter relationships, Appalachian setting, rural living, journalism.... ( )
  julie10reads | Jun 19, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312424914, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When a twelve-year-old girl drowns in the Tamassee River and her body is trapped in a deep eddy, the small South Carolina town that bears the rivers name becomes the center of a far-reaching controversy. Anxious to recover the body and give their daughter a proper burial, the girl's parents want to send divers down into the rain-swollen currents. But a contingent of environmentalists is opposed to the rescue, convinced that it will damage the riverbed, violate conservation laws, and set a dangerous precedent. Maggie Glenn, a twenty-eight-year-old newspaper photographer born in Tamassee but long since moved away, is assigned to cover the story.… (more)

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