English CreekBook - 2005
The witty and haunting narration, a masterpiece of vernacular in the tradition of Twain, follows the events of the Two Medicine country's summer: the tide of sheep moving into the high country, the capering Fourth of July rodeo and community dance, and an end-of-August forest fire high in the Rockies that brings the book, as well as the McCaskill family's struggle within itself, to a stunning climax. It is a season of escapade as well as drama, during which fourteen-year-old Jick comes of age. Through his eyes we see those nearest and dearest to him at a turning point--"where all four of our lives made their bend"--and discover along with him his own connection to the land, to history, and to the deep-fathomed mysteries of one's kin and one's self.
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Year is 1939. Jick McCaskill, 14, is narrator. He is son of Variel and Beth McCaskill. Variel is a forest ranger. Other characters: Alec, older brother of Jick, his intended wife: Leona. Jick is sent with Stanley Meixell to 3 sheepherder's with supplies. Stanley is a drinker, and there is a "past" between him and the McCaskill family. Alec is working for the Double W, the Williamson ranch. The Williamson family has bought up many foreclosed and forced to sell properties. June was wet and green. July is hot and dry, a fire will happen. Jick has pithy observations on life/people, a trademark of this author.
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