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Home Waters: a Chronicle of Family and a River

By John Maclean

In the spirit of his father's beloved classic A River Runs Through It comes a gorgeous chronicle of a family and the land they call home: Home Waters is John N. Maclean’s meditation on fly fishing and life along Montana's Blackfoot River, where four generations of Macleans have fished, bonded, and drawn timeless lessons from its storied waters. It is a universal story about the power of place to shape families, and a celebration of the art of fishing, Maclean’s memoir beautifully portrays the inextricable ways our personal histories are linked to the places we come from—our home waters. Ilus & photos; 6x9 inches, 240 pgs.

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“The trout completed its curve in an undulating, revelatory sequence. A greenish speckled back and a flash of scarlet on silver along its side marked it as a rainbow. One slow beat, set the hook … in those first seconds I felt a connection to a fish of great size and power."

So begins John N. Maclean's remarkable memoir of his family's century-long love affair with Montana's majestic Blackfoot River, which his father, Norman Maclean, made legendary. Now himself past the age that his father published his bestselling novella, Maclean returns annually to the simple family cabin that his grandfather built by hand, still in search of the fish 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 place, Home Waters is chronicle 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 the power of place to shape families, and a celebration of the art of fishing, Maclean’s memoir beautifully portrays the inextricable ways our personal histories are linked to the places we come from—our home waters.

REVIEWS
“A moving memoir of a family’s love affair with the Blackfoot River in Montana. … Lovers of literature and nature will be captivated by this heartfelt tribute to place and family.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In this welcome companion to an American classic, John N. Maclean casts a story of place, family, and legacy: of highland streams and woodlands, and the gifts waiting in their depths; of a quiet father with much to share; and of the sometimes meandering, sometimes tumbling courses that carry us through life. A spare, patient, and compelling reminiscence that stays with you.” -- Earl Swift, New York Times bestselling author of Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island

"Finally, a brilliant, intimate, and reliable chronicle of the remarkable Maclean family and the origins of a great book, welded seamlessly to the memorable angling days and writing life of a central member. I loved Home Waters." -- Nick Lyons, author of Spring Creek

"I can honestly say I loved Home Waters. Reading it felt like a visit with old friends--the characters from A River Runs through It—who you haven’t seen in a long while, during which you learned some things you’d never known before. John N. Maclean’s book does a wonderful job of illustrating the importance of family and place—something we can all relate to even if the particulars of our stories are very different." -- Kirby Lambert, Montana Historical Society

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.

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