Above the Waterfall

Above the Waterfall

A Novel

Book - 2015
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Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have shaped their lives in contemporary Appalachia, a sheriff on the brink of retirement and a haunted park ranger confront violent forces when an elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream.
Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780062349316
0062349317
Branch Call Number: FICTION RASH RON
Characteristics: 252 pages ; 22 cm

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JoyERancatore
Jul 16, 2019

Above the Waterfall takes readers on a journey into Appalachia. Every character has flaws. Through these flaws, a story unfolds. It's one of pasts defining presents and choices made and the consequences they produce. The ending leaves readers in the driver's seat to fill in the gaps of the pasts shared and the scope of the consequences.

Ron Rash writes in a Southern rhythm that makes his characters sing. Each one's voice drifted clearly up from the pages, while the mountains rose around me. I heard the stream and saw the fish flashing in it. I smelled the flowers and tasted the pure spring water. Reading this book was an immersion in the culture and landscape of the mountains.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of hearing Mr. Rash speak and finally got the chance to read one of his books. This will not be my last, and I hope to hear him speak again soon. He is certainly a master storyteller. I'll be honest, a few times while reading, I wanted to chunk my entire manuscript in the garbage; but I hope I've learned a few things from his writing to make my own better.

DBRL_IdaF May 08, 2017

Les is an about-to-retire sheriff in an Appalachian community. Becky is a park ranger who is new to the area and finds refuge from a traumatic past in the North Carolina mountains. Together, the two of them investigate the poisoning of a local trout stream. In the process, they must deal with generations-long grudges and alliances among the locals, as well as their own pasts and current flaws. The meth epidemic, something familiar to this Missouri girl, is almost a character itself.

The story is told in alternating points of view, with Les's voice being down-to-earth, straight narrative and practical. Meanwhile, Becky's passages are more stream-of-consciousness, laden with images from the woods and streams.

Rash employs poetic use of language and creates richly layered characters. There were a couple of minor editorial inconsistencies in this novel, but they are worth overlooking for the larger story.

m
michgree
Jul 26, 2016

This story encapsulates the journey through grief of its two main characters. I liked how the book ended and especially liked the sheriff's basic goodness.

m
mblummichaels
Jan 19, 2016

only redeeming feature was its brevity. Prose was fine, but i had the impression that this was written only to have a new title published.

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