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Upstream is at once a compelling chronicle of the river journey and a moving portrayal of turbulent father-son relationships. Carey's paternal grandfather, Thomas, preached a hellfire gospel in the Oklahoma Territories, carrying his message to cowboys, sodbusters, whiskey peddlers, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Osage. In his church, he was honored. In his home, he was not-neither his son nor his wife escaped his wrath or his razor strap. The son, George, carried mental scars forward into his own marriage, where they affected the author's childhood.
During days of hard paddling, Carey comes to admit the quick anger and violent mood swings he shares with his father and grandfather, and to acknowledge the crippling power of that legacy. His battle against the current, and his determination to reconcile with the living and the dead men of his life, shape this powerful memoir.
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