In this sweeping saga set against early-1900s Finland, occupied and oppressed by Tsarist Russia, and the untamed old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn, What It Is Like to Go to War) tells the story of the Koski siblings as they leave their homeland for a raw, new place on the other side of the world.
Fleeing political persecution, 17-year-old Aino joins her brothers on Deep River, just north of the mighty Columbia. What greets her is an unimaginable world of 300-foot trees, a logging frontier that is rough, lush and buzzing with the promise of progress. As her brothers settle into their own rhythm--Ilmari at his farm and Matti as a logger--Aino returns to her socialist roots, working to unionize the big logging camps. The labor movement is in its infancy in the United States, and Aino's passionate mission to bring socialism through the IWW takes her across southern Washington as she gives speeches and organizes rallies, leaving little time for her personal life. As each character faces love, loss, devastation, transformation and redemption--Aino most of all--she must ask: "The cause was worthy--but was it worth it?"
Based in part on his own family history and influenced by the epic Finnish poem The Kalevala, Marlantes depicts the depths of Finnish endurance (Sisu) in a time of hardship and great change. Spanning the years from 1893 to 1932, Deep River is a vast account of the logging, fishing and farming industries and the immigrants and Americans who brought them to life. It is fantastic historical fiction full of impassioned characters working hard to put down roots in a constantly developing world. --Jennifer Oleinik, freelance writer and editor