Saints at the River
Author: Ron Rash
When a twelve-year-old girl drowns in the Tamassee River and her body is trapped in a deep eddy, the small South Carolina town that bears the river’s name becomes the center of a far-reaching controversy. Anxious to recover the body and give their daughter a proper burial, the girl’s parents want to send divers down into the rain-swollen currents. But a contingent of environmentalist is opposed to the rescue, convinced that it will damage the riverbed, violate conservation laws, and set a dangerous precedent.
Maggie Glenn, a twenty-eight-year-old newspaper photographer born in Tamassee but long since moved away, is assigned to cover the story. Back in her hometown, she’s forced to confront not only her ailing and embittered father, but the friends and relatives who have taken sides against one another. Complicating matters further are an old boyfriend --- now the charismatic leader of the group protesting the rescue –and the reporter sent to cover the story alongside her, a man with painful associations of his own that may threaten the relationship they’ve recently begun. And as the family history she’s so successfully repressed threatens to surface, Maggie finds she is herself vulnerable to the painful implications of the conflict – questions of integrity, loyalty to home and family, and to the past.