July Book Review: 'Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country' by Pam Houston

Jul 14, 2020

 
"Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country," Pam Houston, 288 pages
Credit W.W. Norton & Company
The One Book One Community selection this year is “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country,” which recently won the Reading the West Advocacy Award. Author Pam Houston, once a resident of Park City, will hold a virtual talk with locals in September about her latest book. 

 

“Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country” is author Pam Houston's first memoir. It's an obvious love letter to the natural world in general and her ranch specifically. 

 

The life Houston designed for herself has three remarkably different components. She teaches at the university level, owns a remote, 120-acre ranch property in Colorado, and she travels extensively. Rarely can a person combine all three but Houston has, and each  provides cherished experiences she shares with her readers. 

 

Houston purchased the ranch 27 years ago when she was 31 years old with proceeds from her first, unexpectedly successful book, “Cowboys Are My Weakness.” 

 

In the intro she explains: “I had no job, no place to live except my North Face VE 24 tent (which was my preferred housing anyhow) 9/10s of a Ph.D and all I knew about ownership was that it was good if all of your belongings fit into the back of your vehicle, which in my case they did. A lemon-yellow Toyota Corolla. Everything including the dog.”

 

The book is then divided into four parts. Rather than line up her life stories in a chronological timeline, she reveals personal relationships and experiences both humorous and heart-wrenching with a great deal of candor. Along with her early, adventurous lifestyle, she includes anecdotes from her teaching and writing, her travels and, most of all, her ranch. I developed a deep admiration for her, what she has gotten out of life, and what she gives back.

 

Interspersed throughout the chapters are what she calls 'Ranch Almanac' sections which include topics such as stacking wood, donkey chasing, lambing and first warm day; but don't think for one minute Houston doesn't make each and every subject endearing in some way. She acquaints us with the beauty, the strength and fragility of the land, the animals, and the people who live there.

 

The One Book One Community program is a partnership with Park City and Summit County libraries, along with Dolly’s Bookstore and Utah Humanities. Everyone in Park City is encouraged to read Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country and then join an online conversation with the author on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 7:00 p.m. on Park City Library's Facebook's page or through Zoom. 

 

Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country can be found at Summit County’s libraries.

KPCW BOOK REVIEW DEEP CREEK: Hope in the High Country

 

The One Book One Community selection this year is “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country,” which recently won the Reading the West Advocacy Award. Author Pam Houston, once a resident of Park City, will hold a virtual talk with locals in September about her latest book.

 

 

“Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country” is author Pam Houston's first memoir. It's an obvious love letter to the natural world in general and her ranch specifically. 

 

The life Houston designed for herself has three remarkably different components. She teaches at the university level, owns a remote, 120-acre ranch property in Colorado, and she travels extensively. Rarely can a person combine all three but Houston has, and each  provides cherished experiences she shares with her readers. 

 

Houston purchased the ranch 27 years ago when she was 31 years old with proceeds from her first, unexpectedly successful book, “Cowboys Are My Weakness.” 

 

In the intro she explains: “I had no job, no place to live except my North Face VE 24 tent (which was my preferred housing anyhow) 9/10s of a Ph.D and all I knew about ownership was that it was good if all of your belongings fit into the back of your vehicle, which in my case they did. A lemon-yellow Toyota Corolla. Everything including the dog.”

 

The book is then divided into four parts. Rather than line up her life stories in a chronological timeline, she reveals personal relationships and experiences both humorous and heart-wrenching with a great deal of candor. Along with her early, adventurous lifestyle, she includes anecdotes from her teaching and writing, her travels and, most of all, her ranch. I developed a deep admiration for her, what she has gotten out of life, and what she gives back.

 

Interspersed throughout the chapters are what she calls 'Ranch Almanac' sections which include topics such as stacking wood, donkey chasing, lambing and first warm day; but don't think for one minute Houston doesn't make each and every subject endearing in some way. She acquaints us with the beauty, the strength and fragility of the land, the animals, and the people who live there.

 

The One Book One Community program is a partnership with Park City and Summit County libraries, along with Dolly’s Bookstore and Utah Humanities. Everyone in Park City is encouraged to read Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country and then join an online conversation with the author on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 7:00 p.m .on Park City Library's Facebook's page or through Zoom. 

 

Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country can be found in Summit County’s libraries. libraries.

(Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/ParkCityLibrary  or through Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89197945320  )