book beginnings on Friday: River in Ruin by Ray A. March

Thanks to Katy at A Few More Pages for hosting this meme. To participate, share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and, if you feel so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line.

This is the story of the Carmel River, a tiny river but apparently one that serves as a sadly typical example of what we’re doing to our rivers on a large scale. It begins:

On a summer evening between semesters at college, my friends and I gathered at Undertow Beach near the lagoon where the Carmel River enters Carmel Bay. The evening was nippy, a high fog hovered overhead, so in a tight protected valley of sand carved out long ago by an old cable-driven dredge we built a little campfire of driftwood and drank rank red wine.

Nature writers, take note: this is a great beginning. While the rest of the book promises to be well-researched nonfiction, it begins with a narrative that grounds the story and gives it significance. The author grew up in the area and remembers earlier incarnations of the river, thus showing his reader why she should care. Good stuff. Look for my review to come…

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

3 Responses

  1. Hi Julia,

    I have to be honest and say that this isn’t likely to be a book that would interest me, although I do love those first few lines. I really enjoy good descriptive writing and if the rest of the book is as good as this, then you are in for a great read. I also like the power of the cover image.

    Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend

  2. I like books that tell the struggle to keep things in nature from being destroyed. I also love the cover.

  3. While I normally read fiction I do like books about nature and science. This book sounds like one I would enjoy.

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