West of Here

West of Here

by Jonathan Evison
3.0 30

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West of Here 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Vegas_Janeite More than 1 year ago
Set in the fictional town of Port Bonita, Washington, this book follows two timelines. The first timeline begins in 1889 and focuses on Port Bonita's founding and the damming of the Elwha River which gave the town its identity and life. This timeline is filled with men and women of vision and purpose, the world wide open to them if only they can make the right decisions. The second timeline is in the modern year 2006 and follows the descendants of those original founders. But for them, Port Bonita is no longer thriving, the dam no longer their salvation but their downfall. These men and women would like to have the same sense of purpose their ancestors did, but first they must somehow reconcile their past with their future. It might be time for Port Bonita and its inhabitants to make a change. Jonathan Evison writes colorfully with a lot of humor and genuine affection for his many characters - not one written with anything less than absolute vibrancy and depth. The Washington wilderness itself is a character and his descriptions of it are so effortless and beautiful, you trust that he KNOWS this landscape. He makes you feel it. The story itself is propulsive. At the beginning you will slowly begin to know the characters and follow them on their paths, learning more and more about them as you turn the pages, then the plot will start to take a stronger hold and pretty soon you will be unable to put the book down until you find out what everyone's destinies will be, until you are finished with the book and sad that it's over. This novel has a pioneer spirit and sense of adventure that captured my attention and imbued in me a childlike sense of wonder at the vastness of things. Read this fantastic book. I think it'll make a big splash in 2011.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hoping for something this book isn't, a thoughtful reflection on the history the Olympic Peninsula and the Elwha valley. Instead, it is a pulp novel with way too many unappealing, poorly developed characters with no meaningful reference to local history in the first third of the book, which is how far I got before deciding not to waste any more of my time.
2manybooks2littletime More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It is different from what I normally read but picked it up becasue it takes place in an area that I am familiar with. Before I knew it I was completely wrapped up in the daily lives of the characters and the place and time(s) that the story takes place. I love this authors style of writing and went and picked up his earlier book...hope it is as good as this one.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
West of Here is a huge, sweeping novel covering so much time and so many different stories that it is impossible not to get swept up in the town of Port Bonita. The story begins in 1889 when Port Bonita is a small, struggling outpost of settlers and indians. Ethan Thornburgh arrives having followed his runaway sweetheart and decides that a dam, blocking up the mighty Elwha for electricity and modern conveniences, will put Port Bonita, and himself, on the map. Contrasting that is present day where the town is now realizing the extent of environmental damage done by the giant dam. Craving a fresh start the town contemplates tearing it down. Woven throughout these main threads are the stories of prostitutes, paroled criminals, three different mothers trying to do the best for their very different children, loners, explorers, and politicians. Washington's rugged and magnificent Olympic Penninsula forms the dramatic backdrop for all these stories. Once I stopped trying to keep straight all the different story lines and just allowed myself to inhabit the town of Port Bonita I really enjoyed the book. It was fascinating to follow the thread of how an action in 1889 could have a profound impact on the life of someone on 2006. While there are no fairy tale endings here, the author does an impressive job of wrapping together the many stories and creating a coherent ending. The book feels like one long adventure set in the last era of taming the wild west. I listened to West of Here on audio, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini. It must have been a challenging book to read with all the voices to portray and he does an admirable job. He always seemed to capture the spirit of the time and kept the story flowing. This was an excellent audiobook for passing many long days!
hallfam More than 1 year ago
this book is well written and i admit i enjoyed the vivid imagery but the story is just to boring. also ther are no mysterious sub plots, it is what it is and thats all it is.
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Reading this was like trying to slough my way through knee high mud! I've read a number of books that covers two different eras and all of them had connected the two eras well before mid point. Could not see point of story by page 200 something. Too many characters and no central protaganist. I've LITERALLY read about a thousand books and this is the third one that I couldn't finish due to above reasons. I don't enjoy giving up reading a book and kept plowing ahead hoping that the plot would tighten up but by about the half way point realized that hope is just a street in LA! Good thing this is a library eBook so didn't loose any $$$$$$$$
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Tori Green More than 1 year ago
This book just seemed to go no where. It has so many characters I could not help but wonder what the purpose was. Really a waste of time.
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