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Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River

Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River

by John N. Maclean
Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River

Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River

by John N. Maclean

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Listen to John MacLean in conversation about Home Waters on Poured Over: The B&N Podcast


“Beautiful. ... A lyrical companion to his father’s classic, A River Runs through It, chronicling their family’s history and bond with Montana’s Blackfoot River.” —Washington Post

A "poetic" and "captivating" (Publishers Weekly) memoir about the power of place to shape generations, Home Waters is John N. Maclean's remarkable chronicle of his family's century-long love affair with Montana's majestic Blackfoot River, the setting for his father's classic novella, A River Runs through It. Maclean returns annually to the simple family cabin that his grandfather built by hand, still in search of the trout of a lifetime. When he hooks it at last, decades of longing promise to be fulfilled, inspiring John, reporter and author, to finally write the story he was born to tell. 

A book that will resonate with everyone who feels deeply rooted to a landscape, Home Waters is a portrait of a family who claimed a river, from one generation to the next, of how this family came of age in the 20th century and later as they scattered across the country, faced tragedy and success, yet were always drawn back to the waters that bound them together. Here are the true stories behind the beloved characters fictionalized in A River Runs through It, including the Reverend Maclean, the patriarch who introduced the family to fishing; Norman, who balanced a life divided between literature and the tug of the rugged West; and tragic yet luminous Paul (played by Brad Pitt in Robert Redford’s film adaptation), whose mysterious death has haunted the family and led John to investigate his uncle’s murder and reveal new details in these pages.

A universal story about nature, family, and the art of fly fishing, Maclean’s memoir beautifully captures the inextricable ways our personal histories are linked to the places we come from—our home waters. 

Featuring twelve wood engravings by Wesley W. Bates and a map of the Blackfoot River region.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062944610
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/01/2021
Format: eBook
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 305,506
File size: 40 MB
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About the Author

JOHN N. MACLEAN is an award-winning author and journalist. He spent thirty years at the Chicago Tribune, most of that time as a Washington correspondent. After leaving the Tribune, Maclean wrote five nonfiction books about wildland fire that are considered a staple of fire literature as well as training material for firefighters. Maclean is the son of Norman Maclean, author of A River Runs Through It. The younger Maclean, an avid fly fisherman, lives in Washington, DC, and at a family cabin in Montana.

Table of Contents

Prologue: On the Big Blackfoot 1

Chapter 1 Two Worlds, One Cabin 9

Chapter 2 Unseen Power 39

Chapter 3 When the Mountains Roared 69

Chapter 4 The River of the Road to the Buffalo 93

Chapter 5 "They were beautiful in life" 117

Chapter 6 "Paul! Paul!" 133

Chapter 7 A Feel for Greatness 159

Chapter 8 Fathers and Sons 183

Chapter 9 Touched by Fire 217

Epilogue: Home Waters 237

Notes and Acknowledgments 243

Index 251

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