OVERRIDE

Saints at the River

A Novel

Ron Rash

Picador

A Southeast Booksellers Association Best Book of the Year
 
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 river's 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. Back in her hometown, she's forced to confront not only her ailing and embittered father, but the friends and relatives who have taken sides against one another. Complicating matters further are an old boyfriend—now the charismatic leader of the group protesting the rescue—and the reporter sent to cover the story alongside her, a man with painful associations of his own that may threaten the relationship they've recently begun. And as the family history she's so successfully repressed threatens to surface, Maggie finds that she herself is vulnerable to the painful implications of the conflict—questions of integrity, loyalty to home and family, and to the past.

Distinguished by the same lyrical prose and strong sense of place that marked Rash's award-winning first novel, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River is a trenchant portrayal of universal human themes: the love of the land, the hold of the dead on the living, the blood ties of family, and the moral obligations of a community. With this book, Rash emerges as one of today's most gifted storytellers.

REVIEWS

Praise for Saints at the River

“A compelling novel...Rash tells his story with subtlety and with the best kind of empathy." --The Wall Street Journal

"Captivating...Rash's clear, concise prose and regional voice add an authentic veneer to this rich tableau of Southern life." --Entertainment Weekly

"Ron Rash writes like a prince." --Pat Conroy

"“Maggie is an ideal observer from the center for things. Her knowing voice carries us through this sad, complex, and beautiful story." --Time Out (New York)

"Rash's clean prose and love for the land easily carry this book to its conclusion, providing readers with a powerful ending that is both surprising and well earned." --The Charlotte Observer

"Shows [Rash's] versatility and chutzpah...Rash's prose... has a peculiar headlong drive akin to that of hard-boiled detective novels--the best sort." --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Fluid...Rash's prose sparkles....He does the best thing a writer can do: entrench the reader in a scene." --Greensboro News & Record

"Gripping...Spare, resonant, unputdownable." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Ron Rash

  • Winner of an NEA poetry fellowship, Ron Rash has published one previous novel, One Foot in Eden, three collections of poetry, and two of short stories. He holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University. He lives in South Carolina.
  • Ron Rash
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Available Formats and Book Details

Saints at the River

A Novel

Ron Rash

SIBA Book Award - Winner

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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