Jun 9, 2020
This is perhaps my favorite of all the Zane Grey "war novels" ---and it's NOT A WESTERN---except for the fact it is set in Oregon. Keven Bell has come home from WW1 a changed man, and he comes home seeking something to live for, having been injured in a training accident which resulted in losing part of the vision in one eye and part of his jaw is missing--and Zane Grey having been a practicing dentist gets to use his talents in fixing his face. Keven is so changed his father does not recognize him; his father had not even heard from him in two years--the two years Keven spent recovering in the hospital. Worse, his father has little to offer his son, having fallen on hard times. Keven's one salvation is his love of fishing, and with the help of Garry Lord they begin a fishing business to sell salmon to the local cannery. In so doing they discover other fishermen who were illegally netting across the mouth of the river with a nets with opennings too small effective capturing all the fish. This book is Zane Grey's protest against this form of fishing in order to try to protect the salmon before they might be fished to extinction. This is a fine, fine novel; and is a story packed with emotion, and powerful imagery of what the disabled veteran faced when returning home---alas, have we learned anything from history as our soldiers return home today? Once again, I say: Do not rate Zane Grey as "only" a writer of westerns. There is so much more to be found in his body of work as this novel proves.