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True North: A Novel de Andrew J. Graff
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True North: A Novel (edició 2024)

de Andrew J. Graff (Autor)

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406624,847 (3.54)Cap
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

From the author of Raft of Stars comes a heartfelt novel of marriage and whitewater rafting, following one couple as they navigate the changing currents of family, community, and the river itself.

As the summer of 1993 begins, Sam and Swami Brecht roll into town with a twenty-six-foot Winnebago camper van, their three young kids, and the deed to Woodchuck Rafting Company. Sam and Swami met as young, adventurous river guides but, a decade later, find themselves weighed down by money worries and the demands of adulthood. The town of Thunderwater, in Wisconsin's Northwoods, could be the fresh start their marriage needs. But Woodchuck, once the property of Sam's eccentric uncle, has seen better days and will need a serious overhaul if it is going to stand a chance at survival.

Soon Sam and Swami learn they are not the only ones looking for change and profit on the river. A competing rafting outfit, clashing raft guides, stubborn townsfolk, and an exploratory mining company begin to threaten their tenuous livelihood. Then nature intervenes, in the form of historic floods throughout the Midwest. Amid tumultuous currents both on and off the river, Sam and Swami struggle to maintain the new life they've built. Before the summer draws to a close, the Brechts must learn to face the floodwaters together in order to create a sustainable future for their family, the town, and the pristine river from which it all flows.

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… (més)
Membre:bentstoker
Títol:True North: A Novel
Autors:Andrew J. Graff (Autor)
Informació:Ecco (2024), 304 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

True North: A Novel de Andrew J. Graff

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Es mostren totes 5
Somewhat depressing of a marriage going under as husband buys a white water rafting business from his uncle in Wisconsin which is also going under. Lots of odd characters is Thunderwater WI and Swami, the angry wife, with 3 small children. Corporate land grabbing greed, a survivalist woman and how to pay the bills. I almost put it down at half way point since it was depressing but ending was good and an interesting conclusion well written about a historic flood in the 90’s. Also, an unexpected but good conclusion. One bone to pick- I didn’t like the names the author used for the family, all to similar and Swami - really?! ( )
  bblum | Apr 27, 2024 |
Excellent story of Sam and Swami, married with 3 kids, who are unhappy with the lives they are living. Sam convinces Swami to purchase his uncle's rafting business in a small river town in northern Wisconsin. The deal was to run the business in the summers and to return to their Chicago home and Sam's teaching job each fall. Sam purchases a new Winnebago for them to live in during the summer months and sell when they returned home. Their money troubles begin when nearing their destination, they hit a deer that immobilizes the engine. They are pulled into their river town and find a run down rafting company. They then learn of a new rafting outfit with all the bells and whistles. It's going to be a long summer.
Kirkus: Trouble doesn’t stay behind when this family moves up north.

With his wife, Swami, and their three kids in tow, Sam Brecht drives a shiny new camper van from Chicago to the river-and-lake country of northern Wisconsin, where they’ve just bought a recreational rafting company from Chip, Sam’s uncle. They’ve agreed to go just for the summer, but Swami doesn’t know that Sam’s teaching job has been cut, he’s booked the campground beyond summer, and he’s not planning to go back. Cowardly as it is, we can see why Sam keeps secrets from his wife, who refers to the children as hers and the business as Sam’s—neither as shared. Feeling “relief layered on top of the guilt” of their estrangement, Sam is relying on “a miracle” to solve the problems of his career and his marriage. When they arrive at Woodchuck Rafting, however, what they find is a disorganized (but charming) band of misfits. It’s unclear why they’d expect anything else: Sam and Swami met and fell in love as rafting guides. In flashbacks and chapters told from her perspective, we see that Swami is more than the ball-and-chain wife Sam fails to placate. While Sam falls back into old vices such as smoking pot at work, Swami takes charge of shoring up the business against three existential threats: a new VC-funded competitor, a land-grabbing mining conglomerate, and unceasing rain. The novel picks up steam as it reveals which is the greatest menace. At a town meeting with the mining company, Sam makes a pitch for saving the local environment and economy: “I don’t know how, exactly…But it’s up to us. If we both try.” The crowd is confused, but it’s clear Sam is speaking to Swami. As chaos mounts, can they save both their family and Sam’s vision of life up north?

A conventional story of marriage on the rocks with a background of local environmental drama. ( )
  bentstoker | Feb 29, 2024 |
Andrew Graff understands nature, the Midwest, men, and family struggles and his novels reflect these themes. True North takes place in the 1990s, as Sam and Swami’s marriage falls apart under the stress of finances and family, Sam decides to move the family to Wisconsin to take over his uncle’s failing river guiding business. Swami reluctantly agrees to go for the summer, but things quickly devolve as the town and the rafting company aren’t quite as Sam remembers and his uncle promised. What Graff doesn’t understand well is women, and the portrayals of the main female characters remain flat and cliched, but if you can accept these misses True North is a strong story about the environment, family, and finding your way back to each other. ( )
  Hccpsk | Feb 25, 2024 |
Adventurers go white water rafting because they enjoy the danger of the white water, the rocks that are suddenly in the way of the boat and the small waterfalls that need to be ridden over. It's very similar to the marriage of Sam and Swami - their marriage was in the white choppy water all of the time but there were hidden rocks and waterfalls that made it harder to traverse it on any given day.

It's 1993 and Sam, Swami and their three children are headed to the northwoods of Wisconsin. They are driving a new Winnebago and have the deed to Woodchuck Rafting Company in their possession. Sam's uncle had talked him into buying the company and made lots of promises about how good business was. Swami is not real excited about this trip but Sam is in the process of losing his job and is always on the lookout for adventure. He and Swami met when they were river guides and deep down Sam knows that his marriage is in trouble and hopes that life on the river will help bring their relationship back to where it was when they first met. Along the way, Sam hits a deer and the camper has to be towed to the rafting company. What they see there is not what they expected. The camp is in disrepair and is going to need a lot of work to look decent. There are a couple of current guides who wish Sam the best but don't seem too concerned with the state the camp is in. Sam and Swami find out very quickly that business is not good and that Sam's uncle hadn't told him the truth about the business. Swami gets mad at Sam and takes the three kids to the camp ground after telling Sam that he should stay at the rafting company. Sam quickly finds out that there is a new competing raft company with all the glitz and glamour that will attract new customers. There's also a controversy in the small town about a mining company that wants to buy a lot of the local land to mine. The main question becomes whether Sam can earn enough from the rafting to support his family but does he really still have a family or is Swami being at the campground with their kids a look about their lives going in opposite directions in the future.

This is a family saga with a lot of beautiful scenery thrown in. You can tell that the author loves the outdoors by the beautiful scenes he paints with worlds on the beauty of the river and the surrounding land. There's a lot of adventure, especially when they are rafting on the river and its apparent that the author knows his rafting terminology. Despite the beautiful parts of the story - this is basically a family story with an upcoming decision of staying together or separating at its core. Swami is basically sick of Sam's ideas as he looks for some excitement in his life. Sam seems to be bit naive on his wife's true feelings but one of his main goals in his life is to keep her and their family safe and happy. So what will the outcome be at the end of the summer? Will Swami and the kids go home without Sam or is their love strong enough that they can weather their current problems and stay together?

This is a book full of nature and quirky characters but mostly it's a book about family and making changes and hopefully finding forgiveness for each other. ( )
  susan0316 | Jan 15, 2024 |
True North by Andrew J. Graff is a very highly recommended intelligent domestic drama following challenges in a marriage and a community.

It is 1993 and Sam and Swami Brecht, along with their three children, arrive in Thunderwater, Wisconsin, to begin running Woodchuck Rafting Company. They met as whitewater rafting guides when in college, and Sam hopes this will be a fresh start for their troubled marriage. Their arrival starts with an accident that disables their twenty-six-foot Winnebago camper, requiring it to be towed to the campground where they are staying, which immediately threatens them financially. He knows funding is going to be cut and his teaching job is likely over. He has plans to stay in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Swami thinks this will just be for the summer.

When the two see the rundown Woodchuck Rafting, sold to them by Sam’s uncle Chip, it becomes clear that making this a profitable business and bringing new life to their marriage is going to be an uphill struggle. Additional complications include the experienced but eccentric guides, a new, flashy rival rafting company, a mining company wanting to buy up the land, and one of the most rainy summers on record.

The quality of the writing is exceptional in True North. It is the story of a troubled marriage during a stressful summer, but it is much more than that and things are not as cut and dried as they seem. Emotions will run high as you read, as high as the rising water. This is a novel about family, whitewater rafting, and a love of nature versus the money a mining company could provide. This summer challenges all of the characters in ways that will require a reckoning for them even as the community is facing evaluating their own choices.

The characters are all fully-realized, unique individuals. Sam and Swami have depth and complicated thoughts and emotions that are buried under the surface. Every character in this novel is memorable.

True North is a literary character-driven domestic drama that will grab your attention and hold it throughout. The multiple struggles going on that multiple characters are facing and the imploding of Sam and Swami's marriage are equally compelling in this heartfelt novel. Adding to the drama are the adventures experienced in the narrative.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Ecco via NetGalley.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2023/12/true-north.html ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Dec 20, 2023 |
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Cap

Fiction. Literature. HTML:

From the author of Raft of Stars comes a heartfelt novel of marriage and whitewater rafting, following one couple as they navigate the changing currents of family, community, and the river itself.

As the summer of 1993 begins, Sam and Swami Brecht roll into town with a twenty-six-foot Winnebago camper van, their three young kids, and the deed to Woodchuck Rafting Company. Sam and Swami met as young, adventurous river guides but, a decade later, find themselves weighed down by money worries and the demands of adulthood. The town of Thunderwater, in Wisconsin's Northwoods, could be the fresh start their marriage needs. But Woodchuck, once the property of Sam's eccentric uncle, has seen better days and will need a serious overhaul if it is going to stand a chance at survival.

Soon Sam and Swami learn they are not the only ones looking for change and profit on the river. A competing rafting outfit, clashing raft guides, stubborn townsfolk, and an exploratory mining company begin to threaten their tenuous livelihood. Then nature intervenes, in the form of historic floods throughout the Midwest. Amid tumultuous currents both on and off the river, Sam and Swami struggle to maintain the new life they've built. Before the summer draws to a close, the Brechts must learn to face the floodwaters together in order to create a sustainable future for their family, the town, and the pristine river from which it all flows.

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