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Spirit Falls
     

Spirit Falls

by Robert E. Townsend
 

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They were but children when in 1947 the Soviet Union named the United States as 'the main enemy.’  

Spirit Falls is the first novel in Townsend's The Long War series. It is an affecting story of childhood friendship growing into profound love, a coming-of-age novel set in the empty and hardscrabble landscape of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Overview

They were but children when in 1947 the Soviet Union named the United States as 'the main enemy.’  

Spirit Falls is the first novel in Townsend's The Long War series. It is an affecting story of childhood friendship growing into profound love, a coming-of-age novel set in the empty and hardscrabble landscape of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.   

The Korean War rages. Marie Jeanne Charbonneau, a French-Canadian, and Ricky Belisle, Serbian and Scots-Irish, befriend one another at the one-room Spirit Falls Graded School on Michigan’s isolated Upper Peninsula, and grow up together wandering the forests, lakes and swamps. As the novel opens, they are in the tenth grade, when children in these isolated rural communities either quit, or moved elsewhere to complete their education. On the eve of the longest night of the year, a stranger appears bringing with her new influences and a longing for the wider world. A Lake Superior storm brings the two teenagers face-to-face with death and the knowledge of good and evil which drives them from Eden into the world.  The Long War is about America’s late twentieth century wars and the lives of four children from childhood innocence, their growth into momentary key players in blundering and bloody struggles of their titan twentieth century empires into which they were born. 

Richard Belisle and his childhood friend, French-Canadian Marie Jeanne Charbonneau, cross paths and swords with Danton Larionov and Ekaterina Soroka, who once had also been children. They trust and betray, give faith and deceive, become fast friends and bitter enemies, each striving to live within a moral code in a 20th century world of contrived and real ambiguity.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940011085598
Publisher:
Robert E. Townsend
Publication date:
07/16/2010
Series:
Long War , #1
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
415 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Robert Townsend was born and raised on a farm in northern Wisconsin and writes of a life he has witnessed. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam protests, Townsend flew 135 combat missions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In early 1972, he transferred to Berlin, Germany as a signals intelligence officer, then to the National Security Agency before returning as a war planner at HQ USAFE, Ramstein. From 1982-1989 he was deputy chief, Air Force Intelligence Agency, counter-deception directorate (housed at CIA). He is among some of the few men in America familiar with the war of ruse and stratagem between the US and the USSR. Slavic on his mother’s side, deep-south redneck on the paternal side, his parents managed money poorly and told stories well. Spare, pithy, lasting the duration of a Pall Mall cigarette, the tales were meant first to entertain while teaching. No one is completely useless, he was told. They can always serve as a bad example. His stories and novels arise from family history, fables and stories told around the kitchen table as well as his own experiences in America’s late 20th century ambiguous wars, deceptions and counter-deceptions. Townsend comes from a long line––father and grandfather, great-grandfather––of American soldiers. From his father the lesson was that his people were born fighting and women were mysterious creatures. He learned this lesson––storytellers are to be treasured; liars are vexing and exhausting, best avoided. But when liars are armed, crazed and planning Armageddon, ambiguity in matters of war and peace, life and death, are the vexation of his century. Fluent in Russian and German with a combat vocabulary in French, Townsend is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin (BA), studied at Freies Universitat Berlin (Certifikat), and received his MA from Georgetown University. After retirement he turned his attention back to writing, a passion waylaid by life and work. He has worked steadily since then on novels and essays.

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