Book Buzz: Deep River by Karl Marlantes

“An admirable work, this monomyth is dense…with Marlantes’s gift for lyricism and evocative language.” Library Journal



From the New York Times-bestselling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War, a rich family saga about Finnish immigrants who settle and tame the Pacific Northwest, set against the early labor movements, World War I, and the upheaval of early twentieth-century America

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.

“Inspired by family history, Marlantes (Matterhorn) offers a sprawling, painstakingly realistic novel about Finnish immigrants in the Pacific Northwest during the first half of the 20th century… Marlantes’s epic is packed with intriguing detail about Finnish culture, Northwest landscapes, and 20th-century American history, making for a vivid immigrant family chronicle.”
Publishers Weekly

Deep River by Karl Marlantes

736 Pages

ISBN 9780802148971


Karl Marlantes grew up in a logging town on the Oregon coast, commercial fishing with his grandfather. He graduated from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, before serving as a Marine in Vietnam. He is the bestselling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War. He lives in rural Washington.



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