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Temple Grove

A 2014 Washington State Book Awards finalist

Deep in the heart of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula lies Temple Grove, one of the last stands of ancient Douglas firs not under federal protection from logging. Bill Newton, a gyppo logger desperate for work and a place to hide, has come to Temple Grove for the money to be had in the timber. There to stop him is Paul, a young Makah environmentalist who will break the law to save the trees.

A dangerous chase into the wilds of Olympic National Park ensues, revealing a long-hidden secret that inextricably links the two men. Joining the pursuit are FBI agents who target Paul as an ecoterrorist, and his mother, Trace, who is determined to protect him. Temple Grove is a gripping tale of suspense and a multi-layered novel of place that captures in taut, luminous prose, the traditions that tie people to this powerful landscape and the conflicts that run deep among them.

from Temple Grove...

She stopped mid-bridge and could not control her trembling as she pulled his dimpled legs through the legholes of the carrier. Her arms continued to tremble as she held his body—so much sun-soaked produce in a cloth sack-- over the thin-aired vacancy answered, in vertiginous zoom, by river. Mist from the roaring water rose to cool the air. Her fingers and toes swarmed with tingles. She stood for some time, mid-bridge, holding him out in quivering arms. Then, shaking arms. She tried to make herself release him.

And could not.

Paul regarded his mother evenly. He fidgeted but did not cry. He wiggled his arms and legs, enjoying the increasing warmth of the sun, the coolness of the rising mist. He squinted up at the blue sky where a few clouds, adrift and evaporating at their outer edges, looked to him like giant diapers. A plane trailed a white plume, its passengers oblivious, in the pressurized fuselage, to the drama of mother and son thousands of feet below.

When she tried to reposition him, a sudden gust caught him. He slipped from her grasp and fell toward the river, feet first, at a slight angle, away from the bridge, his shadow moving with him, bumping over depressions and irregularities in the western cliff-face as the sun shone over the high eastern ridge to cast it there.

And then he was lost in white water.

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