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.