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Saints at the River by Ron Rash

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The Southeast Booksellers Association proclaimed this novel their "Best Book of the Year." I am convinced that the only reason he has not subsequently received this award is that he already has this one. This nuanced book - perhaps more clearly than most - centers around a conflict between two positive and understandable sides. A twelve-year old girl drowns in a rushing South Carolina river and her body is caught in the rocks. Her parents want to recover her body, but environmentalist oppose the destruction that would involve of the pristine waterway. The protagonist is Maggie Glen a twenty-eight year old newspaper reporter who thought she had left the local community behind. “A compelling novel...Rash tells his story with subtlety and with the best kind of empathy." --The Wall Street Journal.

New York: Picador/Henry Holt, 2004. 239 pages. Trade paperback.