Damnation Creek by Ash Davidson

This was definitely a love it or hate book. I read this for several reasons. Book of the Month Club, Netgalley and a buddy read on Instagram, so I think I have a decent grasp on the thoughts of fellow readers. The opinions have been 50/50 and hard core on either side. I am on the love it side like 5 stars loved it, ugly tears crying in my tea loved it. But I feel like I need to say I also 100% understand why someone wouldn’t like it. There are tough topics. Fighting, controlling male narcissisms, miscarriages, infant loss, environmental issues, gas lighting and more. But the way debut author Ash Davidson walks the reader through these issues with the characters experiences and interpretations was breath taking to me. I found the plot to roll out slowly and there was a lot of logging jargon which made it a little hard to get going at times but again I think the intense details is what made me feel so imbedded in the logging town, it’s people and the collateral damage they suffered.

Rich is a 4th generation logger with his sights set on taking care of his family by logging an area called 24/7. Colleen is his wife and midwife that can’t seem to bring her own children into this world other than her little boy Chub. Rich is a good bit older than Colleen and that may be why he took longer to come around to the truth about the horrific consequences the herbicide spray the logging company was using was doing to their town and the people. Daniel, a past resident and friend of Colleen’s comes back to town doing research on the herbicide and it’s long term effects on the people of multiple generations, past and present. When Daniel brings this issue to the people of the town and the logging companies, Colleen and Rich find themselves on opposites sides of the issue. It’s hard to see truth when that truth can disrupt your whole way of life and way to make a living.

There were so many times while reading I hated who certain characters became and I cried for the ones that didn’t feel like they had a voice. There was so much loss and sadness and hopelessness that I did have a hard time processing but I can honestly say I have not been moved this much by a book in a long time. I will take this story with me and hope I can pull strength from these people I have come to learn so much from.

Thank you Netgalley, Ash Davidson, and Scribner for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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