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War Creek: A Novel Paperback – July 7, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

If you’re ready to be captivated by the Cascades, by learning about a mountain range that has captured countless hearts, and by a story of a family that embraces such a place – for life – War Creek is the read for you. Highly recommended.

(Dr. Jessie Voigts - wanderingeducators.com)

About the Author

Susan Marsh worked for the U.S. Forest Service for over 20 years and is now a writer and photographer in Wyoming. War Creek is her first novel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: MP Publishing Ltd (July 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849822417
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849822411
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,313,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this fascinating novel, the characters are skillfully brought to life as they share struggles and adventures in the glorious wilderness beloved by them all. A very enjoyable read, with lots of eccentric personalities, a fast-paced story and emotional complexity throughout. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
With richly drawn scenes and thoughtful, well-crafted prose, Susan Marsh has created a striking backdrop to a complex family story. Wounded Agnes Clayton returns home when her elderly curmudgeon of a father must leave his home and work post of many years, the War Creek Ranger Station in Washington’s beautiful North Cascades. As Agnes struggles to make peace with her father and her troubled past, she uncovers long-buried family secrets and finds unexpected love in a kindred spirit. The plot is as complex as real life; some issues never resolve. But Agnes forges on through conflict and tragedy as nature, friends, and wildlife help her heal from past and present hurts. I was hooked all the way to the last sentence, which shocked me with its simplicity and perfection. As a reader who delights in wild nature, I loved Susan’s vivid descriptions of geography and weather, but more, I loved this story of friendship, love, and the difficult family relationships we cut our teeth on.
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Format: Paperback
Susan Marsh's debut novel, War Creek, delves into the dynamics of one family's complicated history of abuse, deceit and vindictive secrets. Agnes's older brothers are far too busy for their dad, Clayt, so they recruit her to return home to the War Creek Ranger Station. It is Agnes's responsibility to help their aging father downsize to a smaller house, and this is her first trip home in twenty years. But estrangement is almost too cozy a word to describe Clayt's relationships with his adult children. The closer Agnes gets to the station, the more the resentful memories flood her consciousness, "like a fresh slap." She wants to turn and speed back to her life. But she doesn't.

"She resolved to simply have it over with: help him pack his belongings and vacate the ranger station where he had resided for over forty years. Then get out as soon as possible. It wouldn't take a week."

Of course, it takes considerably more time than a week to get the old ranger moving.

Marsh's prose is so beautifully descriptive that the smell of the majestic Ponderosa pines rising above the rocky ravines briefly takes me back to the mountain trail rides of my youth. The Cascade Mountains themselves are protagonists. Agnes is the only daughter with five much older brothers. According to family legend, her eldest brother loses his life in the Vietnam War. Her cantankerous father, Clayt; the bear guy, Hunter; and the dog, Tuck, as well as a small group of secondary characters, round out a memorable cast. All of Marsh's characters are well-developed and individually unique. Agnes' father is an angry and bitter alcoholic. His verbal abuse requires a thick skin. But as days turn into weeks, she begins to see a different side of him. And his rhetoric slowly softens.
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Format: Paperback
From the first page of the novel WAR CREEK, the author Susan Marsh astonishes readers with her love and knowledge of language, the natural world, and the human spirit.
This is a book to settle into, become acquainted with a land, a community, a family, and most especially with Agnes. Her struggles, insights, and loves will resemble your own, yet be uniquely told with fresh understanding.
By the final page of Marsh’s debut novel we are enchanted by the story, enriched by the characters, and telling everyone we know to read WAR CREEK.
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Format: Paperback
Ms. Marsh brings an old Forest Service ranger's house to life as it dies the death of government housing no longer up to government standards. You can feel the dim light in it and the creak of the floor underfoot, the smell of wooden bedroom furniture from girlhood as Agnes finds a collectible from her younger self at the back of a drawer. Evocative does not begin to say it, but Ms. Marsh has that power in her pen.
Her heroine-protagonist is a youngish woman, a teacher, and she has just the summer to pack out her ornery ranger father. He has a reputation for drink, a temper, and a bad ticker. Yet her compassion for his fate is tangibly depicted. .How many of us will be in similar positions,eventually moving reluctant parents to more suitable spots for elder capacities? It's a moment when the texture of time and temperaments appear. The novelist has captured these hearts twisting in the wind, among other hearts one finds in War Creek.
. Ms. Marsh is an Annie Dillard as an observant writer of the natural world but writes like an Ivan Doig with the thrum of the West and its Forest Service personalities. Ms. Marsh is also prescient. No sooner did this book come out and daily headlines began. Just as her protagonist's love interest plans to do, the North Cascades are preparing to find a way for grizzly bears to make a suitable and safe stand in the crags of the Pacific Northwest.Controversy guaranteed and she has it all tucked into this tight novel.
This is a fabulous first effort. There is plenty of adrenaline as a page-turner for the first round, but with rich enough blood to sustain numerous ambles and insights again.
.Americans should be pleased to know that you can have both literary fiction and contemporary adventure, without sneering at your readership as too many postmodernist authors do. This will please, guaranteed, for the events and encounters amid snowfields, horses, and wildflowers fo indeed, offer a great ride.
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