It’s been a while since I wrote a review as I have been having myself a little summer break. But this barnstormer of a book; Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson published this week by Tinder Press, has inspired me to hop back on the blog.
Set on the Californian coast, amongst the logging community of the 1970’s this is a novel that will touch every part of you. It is beautifully told, beautifully constructed and worth every single minute of your reading time.
It is 1977 and Rich Gunderson’s family have been logging the giant redwoods for years. His father lost his life in one of the all too frequent logging accidents and Rich wants a better future for his son Chub. With this in mind he buys up a local plot of land, the yield of which could set his family up for life. But only if he can get to it and that’s a risk of it’s own.
His wife Colleen is the community’s unofficial midwife, a role that she finds both fulfilling and heartbreaking in equal measure, as she longs for a second child of her own. After suffering several miscarriages Colleen is desperate and grieving.
When a face from the past arrives in the town then something rotten at the core of the community threatens to rise to the surface. Each family has a different opinion, but the very survival of this way of life suddenly seems to hang in the balance.
Written with passion, heart and breathtaking complexity, this is the story of all sides of the argument. It is the story of economics and the survival of a way of life that finds its self pitted against the continuation and protection of the landscape that supports it existence.
By creating characters with honest and complex motivations, characters who lives are laid bare for all to see Davidson brings this debate to life. Nothing in this story is ever as clear cut as we would imagine it to be.
This is a story of powerful motivations, strong people, and ultimately love; all set against the fragile and majestic beauty of the land.
One of my books of the year so far. Thank you Caitlin Rayner for my gifted copy and the very welcome introduction.