Down from Cascom Mountain

( 2 )

Overview

Ann Joslin Williams grew up observing the craft of writing: her father, Thomas Williams, was a National Book Award-winning novelist. Many of his stories were set in the fictional town of Leah, New Hampshire, and on nearby Cascom Mountain, locations that closely mirrored the landscape of the Williamses' real hometown. With Down from Cascom Mountain, Ann Joslin Williams proves herself a formidably talented novelist in her own right, while paying tribute to her father by setting her debut novel in the same fictional...

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Down from Cascom Mountain: A Novel

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Overview

Ann Joslin Williams grew up observing the craft of writing: her father, Thomas Williams, was a National Book Award-winning novelist. Many of his stories were set in the fictional town of Leah, New Hampshire, and on nearby Cascom Mountain, locations that closely mirrored the landscape of the Williamses' real hometown. With Down from Cascom Mountain, Ann Joslin Williams proves herself a formidably talented novelist in her own right, while paying tribute to her father by setting her debut novel in the same fictional world-the New Hampshire he imagined and that she has always known.

In Down from Cascom Mountain, newlywed Mary Hall brings her husband to settle in the rural New Hampshire of her youth to fix up the house she grew up in and to reconnect to the land that defined her, with all its beauty and danger. But on a mountain day hike, she watches helplessly as her husband falls to his death. As she struggles with her sudden grief, in the days and months that follow, Mary finds new friendships-with Callie and Tobin, teenagers on the mountain club's crew, and with Ben, the gentle fire watchman. All are haunted by their own losses, but they find ways to restore hope in one another, holding firmly as they navigate the rugged terrain of the unknown and unknowable, and loves lost and found.

Praise for The Woman in the Woods :

"The Woman in the Woods marks the debut of a wise and beautiful voice in American fiction, one that will stand as a powerful new presence in our literary landscape." -Julie Orringer, author of How to Breathe Underwater and The Invisible Bridge

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Williams sets her slow, wistful debut novel (after the collection The Woman in the Woods) in and around the fictional town of Leah, N.H., created by her father, National Book Award–winner Thomas Williams. The novel opens as Mary Walker returns to her deceased parents' summer home with her new husband, Michael. The isolated house, barely accessible by road, is nestled in the valley below the densely forested Cascom Mountain, and, within a few pages, Michael falls to his death up on the mountain, leaving Mary to be consoled by characters facing trials of their own. Among them is Tobin, a local teenager with a mentally ill mother; despite his pronounced social ineptness, Tobin graduated from Exeter at 15, but is afraid to go away to college. Callie, a 16-year-old summer employee at a mountain lodge who assists in retrieving Michael's body, tries to help Mary even as she explores her own fears and sexuality. And then there's Ben, a fire watchman mourning a lost love. Williams's highly polished prose entwines grief with desire and mines the natural world for real emotion, but the novel never really finds a story after the initial setup. It moves around, but never forward, a flaw underscored by the flurry of unearned epiphanies that substitute for a proper conclusion. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608193066
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Joslin Williams grew up in New Hampshire. She earned her MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She is the author of The Woman in the Woods, a collection of linked stories, which won the 2005 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction, and her work has appeared in Storyquarterly, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She was the winner of an NEA grant for her work on Down from Cascom Mountain. Williams is an assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    VERY IMPORTANT

    First.
    Hameh

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Well Written

    Ann Joslin Williams does a wonderful job of portraying the beauty of the area in Down from Cascom Mountain. She displays a gift of description of both place and characters.
    In fact, it is quirky cast of characters inhabit Cascom Mountain over the period of one summer in New Hampshire, in this entertaining novel.


    Each character has their own story, and it is how they come together that make this novel what it is. What could be sorrow evolves into joy, but it is not easily won. It takes a community of quirky characters to accomplish this.


    Ann Joslin Williams has written stories, but this is her first full novel. I expect there will be more.

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