For generations, Rich Gundersen’s family has made a living felling giant redwoods on California’s rugged coast. It’s treacherous work, and though his son, Chub, wants nothing more than to step into his father’s boots, Rich longs for a bigger future for him.
Colleen just wants a brother or sister for Chub, but she’s losing hope. There is so much that she and Rich don’t talk about these days - including her suspicions that there is something very wrong at the heart of the forest on which their community is built.
When Rich is offered the opportunity to buy a plot of timber which borders Damnation Grove, he leaps at the chance – without telling Colleen. Soon the Gundersens find themselves on opposite sides of a battle that threatens to rip their town apart. Can they find a way to emerge from this together?
I finished Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson last night and I have gone through a whole lot of emotions with this book!
This is a historical fiction set in 1970s California’s redwood forest among the logging community. It centres around the loggers and their families and the story mainly narrated between Rich, the fourteenth generation logger and his wife Colleen who wanted another child desperately. It is a story about preserving the way of life the only way they know, a story about coming to the realisation of coexisting with the environment and protecting the forest. It is a story about grief, about conflicts, and community. There was a turning point in the story where things started to connect and made me think “omg!!”. I can’t tell you what this was as you need to have this element of surprise!
At times I found this book fascinating as I knew nothing about this part of the history about logger; at times I found the story giving too many details of the technical logging that I wanted the story to move along a bit faster. However the last 100 pages completely captured my attention and I didn’t expect myself to shed a tear at the end of the book! What a roller coaster!
I would say if you love nature and if you love a slow burn literary fiction which focuses on the character development, then you should definitely read this. The last 100 pages totally blown my mind!
Thank you Headline book for gifting me this copy!