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Reviewed by Donna Parrey for Readers' Favorite
A book that gives you characters you care about, worry about, and celebrate with is one that knows how to pull its readers in. The Gulch Jumpers by Catherine Pomeroy is such a book. Our heroine, Ellie, is a competent lawyer who throws herself into work projects to avoid the painful place her mind dwells on when she’s not busy. The discovery of a mysterious box in the back of a closet shelf launches her on a quest to discover its owner that takes on epic proportions. Ray, an elderly homeless man, and Brandy, an old friend of Ellie’s who has fallen on hard times, bring their lives into the story as well, as they embark on a journey through the deep South. The book is a quick read divided into three logical parts, but readers may not want to put it down.
The Gulch Jumpers has a strong storyline that explores contemporary issues without being preachy – issues such as past racial injustices, the effects of drug addiction, and the grief of losing loved ones. Author Catherine Pomeroy is adept at using prose to expand on feelings when written dialogue can’t possibly match the internal dialogue a character is experiencing. “Conversation begins. It is halting, tentative, and awkward at first, like a square boulder rolling clumsily down a slope, but then it picks up steam and starts hurtling, out of control…” Pomeroy’s description of Ray’s thoughts over four pages at the book’s climax is simultaneously heartrending and joyful. With blue-grass music at its soul, The Gulch Jumpers is a lyrical masterpiece that readers will not soon forget.