Arts & Leisure

Book review: Legends of the North Cascades — by Jonathan Evison

(Algonquin Books)

By every measure, Dave Cartwright was a hero and a legend in his small Pacific Northwest town — star quarterback of the Vigilante Falls high school football team, and a Marine, veteran of three tours in the Middle East. But Dave may have lost part of himself in service to this country, in his mind, in service to the greed that fueled the conflicts, and a return to life proved very difficult. When an unimaginable tragedy strikes, Dave decides, in the yawning face of a lack of meaning in his world, to pull up stakes, take his young daughter Bella off-grid, to a cave nine miles outside of town, to live in the mountains of the North Cascades. Bella, resilient beyond measure, is the heart of this tale, her vivid mind imagining a conduit between eras, a story of survival thousands of years old, that parallels their own. Her love for her father is immense, and for a while, life in the wilderness is idyllic, but what Bella and Dave soon discover is that they, too, are a link in the chain, that human existence is a fabric, a quilt, stitched together by the experiences and stories of all who came before us.

— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.

 

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