Les, a long-time sheriff just three weeks from retirement, contends with the ravages of crystal meth and his own duplicity in his small Appalachian town.
Becky, a park ranger with a harrowing past, finds solace amid the lyrical beauty of this patch of North Carolina.
Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have indelibly marked them, they are drawn together by a reverence for the natural world. When an irascible elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream, Les and Becky are plunged into deep and dangerous waters, forced to navigate currents of disillusionment and betrayal that will force them to question themselves and test their tentative bond—and threaten to carry them over the edge.
Echoing the heartbreaking beauty of William Faulkner and the spiritual isolation of Carson McCullers, Above the Waterfall demonstrates once again the prodigious talent of 'one of the great American authors at work today' (Janet Maslin, New York Times).
Ron Rash has long been a critically acclaimed writer, but his seventh book, Serena, catapulted him to new heights: it garnered rave reviews and became a New York Times bestseller. A PEN/Faulkner finalist for Serena, Rash is also a recipient of the O Henry Prize and winner of the 2011 Frank O'Connor Award for Burning Bright, a collection of short stories. His other work includes the novels One Foot in Eden and The Cove, and another short story collection, Nothing Gold Can Stay. Ron Rash teaches at Western Carolina University and lives in the Appalachian Mountains, South Carolina. His latest book is Above the Waterfall.
'One of the great American authors at work today.' New York Times
'Combining suspense with acute observations and flashing insights, Rash tells a seductive and disquieting tale about our intrinsic attachment to and disastrous abuse of the land and our betrayal of our best selves.' STARRED Review, Booklist
'Rash's widely celebrated style lends his Southern Gothic–tinged books a suppleness that verges on prose poetry and, in the case of his new novel, elevates a small-town noir story.' Publishers Weekly
'Superb...Rash is an enormously gifted storyteller, who knows exactly how to keep the dramatic tension in his fiction...He's one of the few writers at work today with the insight, the talent and the vision to show us how sometimes, for all our sorry shortcomings, we're able to achieve a certain redemption through our capacity for kindness and decency.' Washington Post
'One of the many things that I admire about [Rash's] writing is his ability to take both you and his characters to the edge of what you think you and they can bear, and then he takes you all further. He's just so good at creating atmosphere and tension.' Readings