A refreshingly astute portrayal of the many personalities and histories that converge in small communities--in this case a houseboat community along the Columbia River.
The hazards and joys of life on the water are revealed through shifting perspectives: a young man whose tragic history with the river both ties him to it and sets him apart from it, an old-timer who's been around long enough to remember the river before it was tamed by dams, a latchkey kid adjusting to his new life living aboard a tiny sailboat with an angry father, a couple who only ever intended to live on the river temporarily, and the woman who sees her neighbors' inner truths and channels them into her paintings.
This book portrays the strong, cathartic connection dwellers of the Pacific Northwest have to their land and rivers. It provides a thoughtful meditation on the nature of storytelling and how the stories we tell shape the people we become and affect the world around us.
For several years, Brian Friesen called his sailboat home. He worked in various Portland-area marinas along the Columbia River, cultivating his reality of gritty community life upon the river. No longer muddied up on a sailboat, Brian has shifted his perspective of river life to a home along the Tualatin, outside Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two children. Brian was the recipient of the James Patrick Folinsbee Award for creative writing at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada—where he received a Master of Arts degree in English. His stories and essays have appeared in R.KV.R.Y. Literary Journal, The Music Liberation Project, The Portland Spectator, and A Write Around Portland Anthology. Brian has also been active in other realms of storytelling; he produced a poetry radio show for Golden Hours at OPB radio, performed an oral history of a Northwest Native American elder (available at the Oregon Historical Society), and has volunteered at a number of northwestern organizations, including Willamette Writers and Write Around Portland.