When Ned Hawkins meets Erica Romano, they’re in the heavily forested North Cascade mountains. Ned spends a lot of his time in the woods, alone, as far away as he can get from the town of McKenzie Crossing. The townspeople make him feel trapped, unwanted, lumping him with his rough, hard-drinking relatives and his father, in prison serving a sentence for murder. Ned won’t have anything to do with his father, uncles, not even his brother, but nevertheless he’s still associated with the Hawkins clan.
Ned finds Erica Romano fly fishing with the expertise of someone who is used to handling herself in the woods. She’s happiest on horseback, fishing, or hiking in the great outdoors.
As Hawkins Lane by Judith Kirscht surges forward in time, Ned, Erica and their daughter Bonnie are a family happily living the lives of forest rangers. Their world crashes when Ned’s father is released from prison. It goes into further decline when a tragic accident affects all their lives. The family learns the truth about themselves as the result of these incidences and struggles for the strength to cope.
Hawkins Lane is a sweeping novel delving into the Hawkins’ lives, not only of Ned and Erica, but of their extended families as well. Kirscht weaves a story teemed with suspense and laced with emotions borne of shame, fear and secrets kept too long.
A fine contemporary novel and a worthy family saga, the author shows a keen sense of story. Her characterization skills are extraordinary as she captures the lives of not only Ned, Erica and Bonnie, but also of Ned and Erica’s mothers and other family members. Kirscht’s in-depth descriptions of pristine mountain wilderness are exquisite.
Hawkins Lane is available in e-format, but will soon be published in trade paperback. Whatever your preferred format, don’t miss this splendid novel. For more information about Judith Kirscht, visit www.judithkirscht.com