In a small fictional town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter. There's a Department of Public Works that gives haircuts and counts insects, a policeman who is addicted to Puccini, a philosophizing crow, beer, and berries. An expedition is mounted, a crime is committed, and there's an unbelievably huge picnic on the football field. Babies are born. A car is cut in half with a saw. A river confesses what it's thinking. This is the tale of a town, written in a distinct and lyrical voice, and when the book ends, listeners will be more than a little sad to leave the village of Neawanaka, on the wet coast of Oregon, beneath the hills that used to boast the biggest trees in the history of the world.
"Doyle writes with an inventive and seductive style that echoes that of ancient storytellers." (Library Journal Starred Review
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Life and death in a small town