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Deep river : a novel
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Karl Marlantes's debut novel Matterhorn has been hailed as a modern classic of war literature. In his new novel, Deep River , Marlantes turns to another mode of storytelling--the family epic--to craft a stunningly expansive narrative of human suffering, courage, and reinvention.

In the early 1900s, as the oppression of Russia's imperial rule takes its toll on Finland, the three Koski siblings--Ilmari, Matti, and the politicized young Aino--are forced to flee to the United States. Not far from the majestic Columbia River, the siblings settle among other Finns in a logging community in southern Washington, where the first harvesting of the colossal old-growth forests begets rapid development, and radical labor movements begin to catch fire. The brothers face the excitement and danger of pioneering this frontier wilderness--climbing and felling trees one-hundred meters high--while Aino, foremost of the books many strong, independent women, devotes herself to organizing the industry's first unions. As the Koski siblings strive to rebuild lives and families in an America in flux, they also try to hold fast to the traditions of a home they left behind.

Layered with fascinating historical detail, this is a novel that breathes deeply of the sun-dappled forest and bears witness to the stump-ridden fields the loggers, and the first waves of modernity, leave behind. At its heart, Deep River is an ambitious and timely exploration of the place of the individual, and of the immigrant, in an America still in the process of defining its own identity.
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Booklist Review
The compelling personification of the labor activism once perceived as an alien Bolshevik threat by many Americans, Aino Koski stands out as a courageous female labor organizer in Marlantes' compelling new family saga. An immigrant who has fled a czarist-oppressed Finland with two brothers, Aino struggles to unionize the lumberjacks of the Pacific Northwest to protect them against the exploitation of ruthless lumber companies backed by callous courts and brutal police. Readers will feel both Aino's political passion and her emotional heartbreak as her activism strains her ties to her ethnic community, husband, and daughter. And they will recognize how Aino's travails fit within a larger social tapestry, as Marlantes weaves those travails into the turbulent lives of Ilmari and Matti, Aino's brothers, who likewise endure physical and emotional trauma in their new home, finding lethal peril behind the beauty of its towering trees and swift rivers, encountering tawdry betrayals behind its lofty constitutional ideals. Marlantes poignantly depicts the intimacies of personal dramas that echo the twentieth century's unprecedented political storms and yet in surprising ways reprise Finland's oldest mythologies. Finally, it is Aino tested in the novel's climax by the exposure of long-hidden and horrifying secrets who carries the reader to a profoundly humanizing conclusion. An unforgettable novel.--Bryce Christensen Copyright 2019 Booklist
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