Parkinson, Heather 1974-
Parkinson, Heather 1974-
Born 1974. Education: Graduated from Williamette College; also attended Boise State University.
Author. Boise Weekly, Boise, ID, former journalist.
Received Carson research grant.
Across Open Ground: A Novel, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2002.
Heather Parkinson's Across Open Ground: A Novel tells a story of frontier life at the beginning of the twentieth century, at a time when the outside world was beginning to impinge on the lives of western families. The novel focuses on the life of sheepherder Walter Pascoe, who "in 1917 leaves his parents for the open-air life herding sheep in and around the Wood River Valley," Adam Tanous stated in the Idaho Mountain Express. "It is a life of comfortable routine until he meets and falls in love with a trapper named Trina Ivy. With the outbreak of World War I, Pascoe is drafted and must leave his new love. While they are reunited after the war, much has transpired to alter their relationship." For one thing, the war has hardened Pascoe. When he learns that local thug Joe Moran has beaten Trina to the point that she has lost the unborn child she conceived with Pascoe, he sets out for revenge. The question for both Walter and Trina is, will they still care for one another after having experienced such violence?
Critical praise for Parkinson often singled out her lyrical use of language as reminiscent of other writers who portray the natural wonders of America. The novelist's prose, a contributor to Kirkus Reviews wrote, "elevates [the story] from a mere herder's tale into a kind of ballad to the American landscape." "The vivid picture Parkinson paints of the western prairie and of youthful longing will strike a chord" with fans of Ivan Doig and Claire Davis, Peggy Barber said in her Booklist review. "Parkinson's homage to [Cormac] McCarthy," declared a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "is especially graceful and poignant in her writing about the land, sheep herding and the animals."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2002, Peggy Barber, review of Across Open Ground: A Novel, p. 1509.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002, review of Across Open Ground, p. 448.
Library Journal, May 15, 2002, Jack Hafer, review of Across Open Ground, p. 127.
New York Times Book Review, June 9, 2002, Will Blythe, review of Across Open Ground, p. 13.
Publishers Weekly, March 25, 2002, review of Across Open Ground, p. 39.
Idaho Mountain Express,http://www.mtexpress.com/ (May 29, 2002), Adam Tanous, review of Across Open Ground.
Salt Lake Tribune Online,http://www.sltrib.com/ (April 14, 2002), Martin Naparsteck, review of Across Open Ground.