Stillwater by William F Weld Book Review



Stillwater by William F Weld - Book Review 


This book is set in the Swift River Valley in North America in 1938. The city fathers in distant Boston decide that the valley should be flooded to provide a constant supply of sweet water for the east coast cities. The locals can be bought off with minimal compensation and go and live and die somewhere else, there are only five small towns there, after all.

Jamieson Kooby is fifteen and on the brink of becoming an adult, on the brink of falling in love. He was looking forward to growing up and spending his entire life in the valley. Now he will have to do that quickly, and like everyone else, he will have to do everything quickly. Jamieson is an orphan and lives with his feisty grandma who is determined to be the last person remaining in the valley.

He, like some others in the book display a real connection with nature, with all the creatures there, and he has no desire to be moved from the land where his father and forefathers have lived for years. What is going to happen to the animals, Grandma?

So begins Stillwater, a book containing many interesting characters and decent little subplots. For example, there is serious opposition, that is only to be expected, but that is casually swept away with the time old method of fat brown envelopes dropped in the right places, though that eventually causes more problems than it solves.

In parts the books is written almost like a diary as the fateful day draws ever nearer. There are a lot of characters here, and not too many of them deserve much sympathy, but I liked the book a lot and it remained with me some time after I had set it down.

The writer, William F Weld, was in his spare time, the Governor of Massachusetts, so if anyone knows of the machinations of local government and all that goes with it, it will be he.

Probably as well then that it wasn't set in more recent times or some uncomfortable skeletons might have been revisited.

All in all the book is well worth the time and the effort. Recommended.