Sky Time in Gray's River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place

Robert Michael Pyle, Author . Houghton Mifflin $20 (246p) ISBN 978-0-395-82821-2

Gray's River, one of the earliest settled communities near the mouth of rural Washington's Columbia River, remains a relatively isolated place, connected to the rest of the state by just one narrow highway. Pyle (author of 14 books, including Chasing Monarchs and Where Bigfoot Walks ) has lived there for almost 30 years, gradually fitting into the self-reliant community. There, villagers recently rallied, unsuccessfully, to save the local post office, located for decades on an elderly resident's enclosed front porch, and still take pleasure in phone service provided by a local company founded in 1927 and now run by the first owner's son. This luxuriant account of an ordinary year among the flora, fauna and folks of the countryside—where the author's daily walk to the compost heap "is the closest thing I know to sacrament"—focuses as much on bats, butterflies and the pleasure of fresh berries as it does on people. His pensive account of the role the Grange (once a radical farmer's movement, dating back to 1867) continues to play in village affairs includes a nugget of celebrity reporting: Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic is a stalwart member of the association. (Jan. 11)

Reviewed on: 10/16/2006
Release date: 01/01/2007
Paperback - 246 pages - 978-0-618-91979-6
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-544-10870-7
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