In this poetic and haunting tale set in contemporary Appalachia, New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash illuminates lives shaped by violence and a powerful connection to the land.
Les, a long-time sheriff just three weeks from retirement, contends with the ravages of crystal meth and his own duplicity in his small Appalachian town.
Becky, a park ranger with a harrowing past, finds solace amid the lyrical beauty of this patch of North Carolina.
Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have indelibly marked them, they are drawn together by a reverence for the natural world. When an irascible elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream, Les and Becky are plunged into deep and dangerous waters, forced to navigate currents of disillusionment and betrayal that will force them to question themselves and test their tentative bond—and threaten to carry them over the edge.
Echoing the heartbreaking beauty of William Faulkner and the spiritual isolation of Carson McCullers, Above the Waterfall demonstrates once again the prodigious talent of ‘one of the great American authors at work today’ (Janet Maslin, New York Times).
‘One of the great American authors at work today.’
‘Combining suspense with acute observations and flashing insights, Rash tells a seductive and disquieting tale about our intrinsic attachment to and disastrous abuse of the land and our betrayal of our best selves.’
‘Rash’s widely celebrated style lends his Southern Gothic–tinged books a suppleness that verges on prose poetry and, in the case of his new novel, elevates a small-town noir story.’
‘Superb…Rash is an enormously gifted storyteller, who knows exactly how to keep the dramatic tension in his fiction…He’s one of the few writers at work today with the insight, the talent and the vision to show us how sometimes, for all our sorry shortcomings, we’re able to achieve a certain redemption through our capacity for kindness and decency.’
‘One of the many things that I admire about [Rash’s] writing is his ability to take both you and his characters to the edge of what you think you and they can bear, and then he takes you all further. He’s just so good at creating atmosphere and tension.’
‘A feast of beautiful prose…A brilliant read.’
‘With a steady, no-nonsense prose style, peculiar scenarios and subtle turns in plot, An Astronaut’s Life reflects our messy world…[The stories] all share a unique quirk-quality that mixes with profound compassion.’
‘Above the Waterfall contains despair and gentleness. It is another triumph of the vernacular power of Rash’s writing, and of his moral perspicuity.’
‘No one writes Appalachia better—and imbues it with more humanity—than Ron Rash.’