Jump-Off Creek

Gloss, Molly. The Jump-Off Creek. Houghton Mifflin Press, 1989.

Reason read: I am truly clueless about this book. I hate myself when I read a book so quickly that I never take notes, don’t start a blog, or keep track of why I was reading it in the first place. I do remember that I chose it for the Portland Public Library Reading Challenge as an older book by a favorite author. So. there’s that.

Maybe it’s the fact that The Jump-Off Creek takes place in 1895 and times are hard, hard, hard; maybe it’s just the way Gloss wanted her characters, but everyone in The Jump-Off Creek is stiff, dour, reserved, uncomfortable. It got harder and harder for me to read. There is no real joy in this book. On the one side you have Harley Osgood and his companions. They are poisoning cows to attract wolves. Wolf pelts are going for a pretty penny and it’s nothing personal. They are just trying to make a living because as I said, times are hard. On the other side, Tim and his partner, Blue, are trying to keep their livestock safe from the poisonings, but even pet dogs are not safe from the strychnine. [Note: heartbreak alert.] In the middle is Lydia Sanderson, a lone (and lonely) widow who has come back to claim her homestead. The Jump-Off Creek borders her property and while the surrounding land needs a great deal of work, she is determined to make her way.

Author fact: I only have two of Gloss’s books on my list. Now I have read them both.

Book trivia: The Jump-Off Creek is a short book but even so I found it difficult to read.

Nancy said: Pearl called The Jump-Off Creek “antiromantic.” Isn’t that the truth?

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Living High in Cascadia” (p 148).

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