Ivan Doig Bucking the Sun

ISBN 13: 9780684811710

Bucking the Sun

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9780684811710: Bucking the Sun
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Driven from the Montana bottomland to relief work on a New Deal dam project on the Missouri, the Duff family--three brothers, their parents, wives, and others--works on the Fort Peck Dam, but the unforgiving river and tragedy are always threatening

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Review:

As in This House of Sky and Ride With Me, Mariah Montana, Doig returns to Big Sky country to tell a complex murder mystery peppered with the free-spirit history of the west and the intrigue of Doig's Scottish ancestry. Through Franklin Roosevelt's W.P.A. and P.W.A., the Duff family becomes involved in the construction of the Fort Peck Dam, the largest earth-fill dam in the world. While most are happy for the work, there are others in the Duff clan that hope for the dam's failure. Mixing fact and fiction, Doig explores the hardships of labor, of Fort Peck's shantytown housing, and the Duffs' resilience to everything from Montana blizzards to rattlesnakes. When two in the clan are murdered, Scottish family loyalty is questioned and the remaining family members face their toughest challenge.

From the Publisher:

Not since Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath has there been a family saga as powerful as Bucking the Sun or a family as compellingly strife-torn as the one at its center. Driven by drought from their Montana farm to "relief work" building the Fort Peck Dam, the Duff family spans the extremes of the times, from the eldest son Owen, who has made his way through college to an engineer's job on the dam to young Bruce, his antithesis, a risk-taker who works as a diver setting pilings into the treacherous river bottom. In between are Neil, the quiet one, and the brothers' iron-willed wives. When a couple of wild cards are introduced, in the form of a Red Uncle from Scotland and the prostitute he takes up with, the plot gets as thick and turbulent as the muddy Missouri.

Bucking the Sun is a startling story of mixed fortunes that races from moment to moment, an epic rendering of time and place that reminds us why Ivan Doig is our foremost living storyteller of the American West.END

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