Legends of the North Cascades by Jonathan Evison #JonathanEvison @algonquinbooks #LegendsOfTheNorthCascades.

Legends of the North Cascades
By Jonathan Evison
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication Date: June 08, 2021
Hardcover / 352 pages / $26.95

Early Praise for Legends of the North Cascades

“Evison’s majestic and panoramic latest conjures the beauty, power, and unforgiving nature of the Cascade Mountains in alternating narratives separated by thousands of years. Evison masterfully delivers a subtle yet pointed commentary on how society marginalizes veterans and how we profess to admire yet distrust the individualist ethos while also offering a profound meditation on the human spirit.”
—Booklist (starred)

“Engaging . . . This modern back-to-the-land story feels like John Krakauer’s Into the Wild meets Jean M. Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear, a combination that makes for a compelling read in its appreciation of the monumental properties of nature and recognition of the history of humans in the North Cascades.”
—Library Journal

“Evison (Lawn Boy) delivers an intimate . . . story of grief and parenthood with characters from two distant millennia . . . Evison’s empathetic vision offers much to consider about the limits of parental authority and the capacity for both physical and emotional survival.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Evison weaves the prehistoric past and the troubled present together with imagination and tenderness in this haunting, timely meditation on the redemptive power of love.”
—Hillary Jordan, author of Mudbound

“Jonathan Evison’s Legends of the North Cascades is a beautifully rendered and cinematic portrait of a place and its evolution through time; it is also—pure and simple—a story of survival and the love and devotion between parent and child.”
—Jill McCorkle, author of Hieroglyphics

“Under the daunting and impassive mountains of the title, two dramas, one ancient and one contemporary, intertwine to become a greater story of parent and child attempting to survive in the harshest of circumstances. For me, the heart of this fine novel is Bella, a young heroine whose courage and steadfastness are a timely reminder of how human decency can prevail in the darkest of situations.”
—Ron Rash, author of Serena and In the Valley

“Only a writer of Evison’s talent could so brilliantly weave the struggles of a PTSD-stricken veteran and the ghosts of an ancient family into such a powerful social commentary. Wildly original and breathtakingly big-hearted.”
—Willy Vlautin, author of Don’t Skip Out on Me

Praise for West of Here

“ An enjoyable, meaty read—a vision of a place told through the people who find themselves at
the edge of America’s idea of itself.”
—Los Angeles Times

“ Riotously funny … Wonderfully charming.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“ West of Here has it all. It’s a literary page-turner of epic sweep and elegant syntax.”
—Louisville Courier-Journal

“ [A] big, booming ruckus of a novel … Evison is a tremendously gifted storyteller.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

Praise for The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
“ Engaging … The journey is reckless and wild, infused with the sad rage that makes good
comedy great.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“ Bittersweet … Moving and funny … Refreshing.”
—The Washington Post

“ Even-keeled, big-hearted, and very funny and full of hope.”
—The Boston Globe

“ An entertaining picaresque and a moving story of redemption.”
—The New Yorker

Praise for This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!

“ A book that speaks to all of us … The themes Evison presents—disappointment, delusion,
redemption—are universal, and he deals with them beautifully in this wonderful novel.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“ Infused with Evison’s characteristic empathy and heart and humor.”
—The Los Angeles Times

“ A quirky, fun writing style pulls you through this wonderful tale.”
—Sunset Magazine

“ Bittersweet but buoyant, with a heart-tugging finish.”
—Good Housekeeping

Praise for Lawn Boy

“ Mike Munoz is a Holden Caulfield for a new millennium.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“ An effervescent novel of hope that can enlighten everyone.”
—The Washington Post

“ Irresistible … Funny, honest, and real.”
—Seattle Times

“ Evison’s voice is pure magic … In Lawn Boy, at once a vibrant coming of age novel and a sharp social commentary on class, Evison offers a painfully honest portrait of one young man’s struggle to overcome the hand he’s been dealt in life and reach for his dreams. It’s a journey you won’t want to miss, with an ending you won’t forget.”
—Kristin Hannah, author of The Great Alone

New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Evison has carved out a singular literary terrain with a voice infused with “characteristic empathy and heart and humor” (Los Angeles Times). Critics have called his work “effervescent” (The Washington Post) and “riotously funny . . . [and] wonderfully charming” (New York Times Book Review). Now, with his eagerly-awaited sixth novel, LEGENDS OF THE NORTH CACADES (Publication Date: June 8, 2021; $26.95), Evison pushes his considerable storytelling talents in new directions and to new heights, with a big-hearted, deeply human—and ultimately unforgettable—story about a man who has reached the limits of his forbearance for the “civilized” world and, accompanied by his perceptive and precocious seven-year-old daughter, moves off the grid into the wilds of the Pacific Northwest.

Dave Cartwright is already living on the edge, with a blue collar job he hates that barely pays the bills, a house on the verge of foreclosure, a failing marriage, and the recurring memories of three tours in Iraq. His only bright spot is his sometimes too-wise daughter, Bella, who sees and understands much beyond her years. When the unthinkable occurs, Dave makes a seemingly over-the-top decision to move with Bella to a cave in the wilderness. As they embark on this compelling and challenging backcountry adventure, Bella’s reality takes an unforeseen turn, retreating into the ancient world of a mother and son who lived in the cave thousands of years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. What unfolds amidst the struggle to survive is a meditation on both the perils of isolation and the human need for connection.

“I wanted to write a book that explored themes of isolation versus community,” Evison says. “I wanted to write about fatherhood. I wanted to write about football. I wanted to write about the North Cascades, as I had already written about the Olympic Mountains. I wanted to write about small town life. I wanted to write about PTSD.” This gifted writer has done all these things with a singular vision that will both delight and take many of his devoted readers by surprise.

Jonathan Evison is the author of the novels All About Lulu, West of Here, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, Lawn Boy, and Legends of the North Cascades. He lives with his wife and family in Washington State.

My Review:

Dave Cartwright has served in Iraq three times and, beyond exhausted with it all, he comes home to Vigilante Falls in Washington State, but cannot connect to the place and people anymore.

After the death of his wife, he decides a change of scene is best and so takes his 7-year-old daughter, Bella, his reason for living, to the Cascades.

There, they will live an adventure in the caves they will ever forget.

Legends of the North Cascades is a beautiful novel of a father’s love for his daughter and wife and also of how a Bella learns about her parents. It is a story of survival in a new place and of surviving after a tragedy.

I was immersed in the novel and the surroundings.

Thanks to Jonathan Evison and Algonquin Books for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

5 stars

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