West of Here by by Jonathan Evison

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This epic novel offers a tale of two frontiers. First, there is the final frontier of Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula in 1889, where explorers and settlers seek fame and fortune by climbing mountains and building dams. And then, in the same area today, a frontier that has been reduced to the prospects of dead-end jobs, abusive partners, drugs, and heartless love, set within a crumbling economy and a ravaged environment. In West of Here, Evison does an excellent job of switching between the two periods and juggling a host of engaging characters, all lost souls in search of themselves. (Algonquin)

About the Author

Otto Selles teaches French at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich., and attends Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.