Publisher Henry Holt, August 2004
In SAINTS AT THE RIVER, the drowning of a thirteen-year-old girl, swept away in a whitewater river while on vacation, divides a small Appalachian town. This tragedy brings a young woman journalist to the community of her childhood, and on a trip back home that forces her to confront issues buried in her past.
SAINTS AT THE RIVER is the second novel by the award-wining author of ONE FOOT IN EDEN. Highly regarded as a poet, Rash’s ancestors have lived in the Appalachian region of the United States since the 1700s. In both fiction and poetry, Ron Rash’s work is marked by his love of this landscape, and his sensitive explorations of the ties of family and the fierce hold the dead have on the living.
“Ron Rash is that rare writer who can break your heart and mend it at the same time, break and mend beyond the events in his own stories. What a wise and compelling novelist. I’d read anything by this man, and I can’t wait until his next book comes along. Like ONE FOOT IN EDEN, SAINTS AT THE RIVER is a beautifully written story of terrible loss and dark redemption. It’s a wonderful novel.”
— Brad Watson, author of Last Days of the Dog-Men and The Heaven of Mercury
“I find Ron Rash’s work — his poetry, his short stories and his novels mesmerizing. He writes out of an intense and passionate sense of place with the sensibilities of a poet. His characters live harsh and austere lives but their inner landscapes are morally complex and poignant. He is a compassionate and redemptive writer of sensual prose.”
— Janette Turner Hospital, author of Due Preparations for the Plague, Last Magician