The rural American West has a certain magnetism. It is at once nurturing and disorienting. It pulls people in and eradicates their tolerance for crowds and concrete jungles. And at the same time it deepens wonder for the natural world and for old-fashioned neighborliness.
Pam Houston has a way of capturing all of this in her books. Her latest, Deep Creek, Finding Hope in the High Country, is a powerful love story. It’s a memoir about the strong affinity she develops for the natural world and the ways in which it heals her childhood trauma. As she unwraps this love affair, we learn about that quiet trauma she has endured. She juxtaposes sharp and plain language to describe childhood abuse with that of the lyrical words she uses to evoke the wonder and awe she has for her home in Creede, Colorado, —9,000 feet elevation. Deep Creek grasps at what is beautiful about a life lived in nature and a woman who finds contentment from within.