Greasewood Creek

Pamela Steele. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $18.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-58243-770-5
In her debut novel, poet Steele (Paper Bird) finds spare beauty in bleak emotional and physical landscapes. When Avery was just a child, her younger sister, Jean Ann, drowned in the creek abutting their family's property in eastern Oregon. In the years following Jean Ann's death, her father abandoned the family, and her mother descended into depression and alcoholism. Now a young woman, Avery manages her own land with romantic partner and childhood best friend Davis Lovell. She flirts with the attractive possibilities posed by both flight and retreat before finding a third option that may help her look forward rather than back. Steele offers an eloquent meditation on patterns of grief, loss, and silence between generations, with the quiet, grounded narration moves fluidly across time and slowly revealing these patterns. Most memorably, Steele reveals the unexpected details in a landscape that many might dismiss as barren: "The moon is full up—a deep water sky coming with it, and a wind that makes a sound like a river moving through the trees, a wild and invisible thing that turns them inside out." (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/10/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Open Ebook - 177 pages - 978-1-58243-834-4
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