Set in a small town in South Carolina, Rash's engaging second novel tells the story of a family marked by tragedy and the unique battle they engage in to achieve closure. When the young daughter of an affluent banker drowns in the Tamassee River, her family employing its wealth and influence begins a campaign to build a dam so that they can retrieve her body. But they're opposed by a group of local environmentalists, who will stop at nothing to protect the river. Keeping track of this conflict is a young photojournalist named Maggie Glenn, who comes to sympathize with both sides as she covers the dispute for a nearby newspaper. Maggie grew up in the town where events are unfolding, and she makes an appealing narrator, recounting her past and revisiting her troubled relationship with her father a conflict that comes to a head during her visit. Maggie also finds herself increasingly attracted to writer Allen Hemphill, a Pulitzer Prize finalist who has joined her to document the family's story. But Allen is haunted by dark events from his own past a tragedy that may prevent him from embarking on a new life with Maggie. Rash brings a winning authenticity to this distinctly Southern narrative.
A reading group guide is available online at www.picadorusa.com. JULIE HALE

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