Saints at the River by Ron Rash
A Novel

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A major new Southern voice emerges in this novel about a town divided by the aftermath of a tragic accident-and the woman caught in the middle

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. Meanwhile, the reporter who's accompanied her to cover the story turns out to have a painful past of his own, and one that might stand in the way of their romance.
Drawing on the same lyrical prose and strong sense of place that distinguished his award-winning first novel, One Foot in Eden, Ron Rash has written a book about the deepest human themes: the love of the land, the hold of the dead on the living, and the need to dive beneath the surface to arrive at a deeper truth. Saints at the River confirms the arrival of one of today's most gifted storytellers.


About Ron Rash

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Ron Rash's Burning Bright won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. "Into the Gorge" garnered a second O. Henry Prize for Rash, and, along with "The Ascent," was selected for the Best American Short Stories series. Those stories and "Back of Beyond" were also selected for the Best New Stories from the South series. Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to three other prizewinning novels, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; three collections of poems; and three collections of stories, among them Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. He teaches at Western Carolina University.
Published April 1, 2007 by Henry Holt and Co.. 253 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Saints at the River

Kirkus Reviews

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Storywriter and second-novelist Rash (One Foot in Eden, not reviewed) sets up a finely balanced confrontation between Luke Miller, fearless and incorruptible champion of the river (though no saint), and Ruth’s grieving parents, who want to give her a proper burial.

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Publishers Weekly

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A professor of Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University and author of a previous Southern novel, One Foot in Eden , Rash clearly knows the people and places he writes about, and that authenticity pays off in a conclusion that packs an unexpected and powerful punch.

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Entertainment Weekly

After 12-year-old Ruth Kowalsky accidentally drowns in South Carolina's Tamassee River, she becomes the epicenter of a small-town power struggle in Ron Rash's captivating second novel Saints At The River.

Aug 06 2004 | Read Full Review of Saints at the River: A Novel

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