Harper Academic

Home Waters

A Chronicle of Family and a River

by John N. Maclean

On Sale: 06/01/2021

Price: $25.99

Home Waters

Enlarge Book Cover

Home Waters

A Chronicle of Family and a River

by John N. Maclean

On Sale: 06/01/2021

Format:

Price: $25.99

About the Book

In the spirit of his father's beloved classic, A River Runs through It, comes John N. Maclean’s true chronicle of his family and their bond with Montana's Blackfoot River—a profound and beautiful story about the power of place to bind generations, past and present

“Maclean’s Hemingway-esque prose is as clear as a mountain stream, flowing with a poetic cadence.” —Booklist

“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 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 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 fly fishing, Maclean’s memoir beautifully portrays 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.

Critical Praise

“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

“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)

“Maclean’s Hemingway-esque prose is as clear as a mountain stream, flowing with a poetic cadence and lyrically describing the many splendid natural treasures to be found under the Big Sky. A sure bet for readers who enjoy American and natural history and a must-read for fishing enthusiasts.” - Booklist

“Maclean offers a lyrical love letter to Montana’s Blackfoot River, fishing, and his storied family in this captivating memoir. … Fans of his father’s novella will relish the details that served as its inspiration and are here rendered in Maclean’s sharp yet poetic prose. … This richly observed narrative is sure to reel readers in.” - Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062944597
  • ISBN 10: 0062944592
  • Imprint: Custom House
  • On Sale: 06/01/2021
  • Trimsize: 5.000 in (w) x 8.000 in (h) x 0.000 in (d)
  • Pages: 272
  • List Price: $25.99
  • BISAC1 : SPORTS & RECREATION / Fishing
  • BISAC2 : NATURE / Animals / Fish
  • BISAC3 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs