Saints at the River

( 21 )

Overview

When a twelve-year-old girl drowns in the Tamassee River and her body is trapped in a deep eddy, the people of the small South Carolina town that bears the river's name are thrown into the national spotlight. The girl's parents want to attempt a rescue of the body; environmentalists are convinced the rescue operation will cause permanent damage to the river and set a dangerous precedent. Torn between the two sides is Maggie Glenn, a twenty-eight-year-old newspaper photographer who grew up in the town and has been...

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Saints at the River: A Novel

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Overview

When a twelve-year-old girl drowns in the Tamassee River and her body is trapped in a deep eddy, the people of the small South Carolina town that bears the river's name are thrown into the national spotlight. The girl's parents want to attempt a rescue of the body; environmentalists are convinced the rescue operation will cause permanent damage to the river and set a dangerous precedent. Torn between the two sides is Maggie Glenn, a twenty-eight-year-old newspaper photographer who grew up in the town and has been sent to document the incident. Since leaving home almost ten years ago, Maggie has done her best to avoid her father, but now, as the town's conflict opens old wounds, she finds herself revisiting the past she's fought so hard to leave behind.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A compelling novel...Rash tells his story with subtlety and with the best kind of empathy." —The Wall Street Journal

"Captivating...Rash's clear, concise prose and regional voice add an authentic veneer to this rich tableau of Southern life." —Entertainment Weekly

"Ron Rash writes like a prince." —Pat Conroy

"“Maggie is an ideal observer from the center for things. Her knowing voice carries us through this sad, complex, and beautiful story." —Time Out (New York)

"Rash's clean prose and love for the land easily carry this book to its conclusion, providing readers with a powerful ending that is both surprising and well earned." —The Charlotte Observer

"Shows [Rash's] versatility and chutzpah...Rash's prose... has a peculiar headlong drive akin to that of hard-boiled detective novels—the best sort." —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Fluid...Rash's prose sparkles....He does the best thing a writer can do: entrench the reader in a scene." —Greensboro News & Record

"Gripping...Spare, resonant, unputdownable." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312424916
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 7/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 246,364
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Winner of an NEA poetry fellowship, Ron Rash has published one previous novel, One Foot in Eden, three collections of poetry, and two of short stories. He holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University. He lives in South Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2006

    Makes You Read Like You're Drowning

    I had the fortunate experience to meet Mr. Rash in June of 2006. (He 'taught' a portion of a summer class that I took.) He provided many informative tips for aspiring writers, and he used this particular novel as an example of how to take out punctuation in order to symbolize the swiftness of a river. This book was beautifully written. I hate to use the tired phrase, 'I could hardly put it down,' so instead, I'll just say, 'It made me want to read it until I had reached the final page.' :) The characters are very real and well-developed. He said that the premise for the story was inspired by actual events, which is always a plus...for me anyway.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    Great read

    I recently discovered this writer after being intrigued by reviews for most recent novel, "The Cove" Efforts to recover body of drowned 12 year old girl come in conflict with environmentalists who believe efforts will harm river as well as violate federal regulations. Local paper sends reporter/photographer back to her home to cover story. Great descriptions of Appalachian setting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    recommend for book club and personal worth

    The setting is true. [Am familiar with the area.] A good example of how a community can be caught-up in a situation, this one sad, which yields unintended results. Lead by outsiders, seeking to make a fortune by changing a beautiful rapid river, the town people are influnced by the sad drowning of a little girl. The news media, love of family and local flavor lends itself to a good story. A story of nature prevailing, or God if you believe.
    A good book. Keeps you interested. Fast read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A very good read

    The opening style (with no punctuation) made me a little apprehensive when I first began reading Saints at the River, but it soon made sense. There were several things I liked about this book. First, Rash developed the individual stories and characters just to the stages he needed to tell the larger story. He didn't go off on tangents. Second, he didn't degrade or talk down to the area or characters as so many authors do when writing about a specific part of the country, especially the South. I definitely felt the struggle between the various characters (daughter/father, parents/environmentalists, etc.). This is the first book I've read by Rash and look forward to reading others by him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2006

    Outstanding!

    I found this book really hard to put down because it draws you into it. Rash does a wonderful job portraying what so many people deal with when it comes to the mountains of Appalachia. I felt very connected and had mixed feelings just as the chrarcter Maggie does. I would recommend this book to everyone. The tale is heartgripping but also healing. I loved it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2005

    Few saints in this story

    The conflict in this modern-day tale pits grieving parents who want to recover the body of their drowned daughter against those opposed to damming the wild river that holds it captive. Characters quickly choose sides for the fight outsiders versus locals, tree huggers versus tree cutters, developers versus environmentalists, and even parents versus their grown children. The resolution might surprise you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2004

    Such Realism

    The writing gave such true to life memories of a life since past. Having the loss of a young child from drowning, just brought out the more I wanted them to have their child returned to them. I was compelled to read the book until it was finished. Superb Author

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2004

    Vividly Southern

    Saints at the River honestly portrays life as it is in a small southern town. Rush's characters depict the way southerners really are, not ignorant as they have been stereotyped since the civil war, but intelligent, passionate, with an intense longing to stick together and take care of their own. Their love of the land and of a simpler time, which they still live in, is very evident as well. A good read, I could not put it down until I was finished.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Good

    Story was very touching. Love anything about appilachia

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 12, 2011

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    Posted October 30, 2008

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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    Posted April 18, 2009

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