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Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite
Susan Marsh’s debut novel War Creek is a beautiful masterpiece so richly drawn that you will swear you have been transported to the Cascade Mountains. The story follows Agnes Clayton, the only daughter of a difficult and demanding father, as she returns home to care for him after he must leave his home and the only work he has ever loved, as a ranger at the War Creek Ranger Station. Agnes’ brothers refuse to have anything to do with the old man and, if truth be told, Agnes is unsure if she will sufficiently be healed from the wounds of her childhood to deal with his needs now. The Clayton family history is full of abuse and secrets, and Agnes’ attempts to convince her father to downsize to a smaller home, as well as to come to a peace and understanding in their relationship, are difficult to say the least.
I loved this book. Loved it. The scenes are written with a beauty and simplicity that was simply stunning. More impressive even than the dialogue and ruminations of the characters were the descriptions of the landscapes and surroundings of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state. Some of Susan Marsh’s phrasing as she described this glorious backdrop simply took my breath away. War Creek is a book that would appeal to any lover of fiction, but especially those with an interest in nature, or for those who enjoy stories about complicated family relationships and struggles. I recommend this book highly, and I sincerely hope that Susan Marsh is working on her second novel as we speak. I will eagerly await any further work from her.