West of HereRead about the other family sagas Crossen recommends.
by Jonathan Evison
"West of Here" by Jonathan Evison is an engaging family saga that illustrates my theory that the older generations usually seem more heroic than contemporary ones. The novel begins with the planned destruction of a dam in Washington state in 2006, but within a few pages you're thrown back to the late 19th century. There, the ancestors of the dam destroyers are risking their lives to carve the dam out of hostile rock and forest so the settlers of the Olympic Peninsula can switch on some lights at night. The men and women who created a massive dam from wilderness seem so much more heroic than their Kentucky Fried Chicken-loving descendants.