Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: The Rope by Nevada Barr

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312614578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312614577

Book Description

In The Rope, the latest in Nevada Barr’s bestselling novels featuring Anna Pigeon, Nevada Barr gathers together the many strings of Anna’s past and finally reveals the story that her many fans have been long asking for. In 1995 and 35 years old, fresh off the bus from New York City and nursing a broken heart, Anna Pigeon takes a decidedly unglamorous job as a seasonal employee of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. On her day off, Anna goes hiking into the park never to return. Her co-workers think she’s simply moved on—her cabin is cleaned out and her things gone. But Anna herself wakes up, trapped at the bottom of a dry natural well, naked, without supplies and no clear memory of how she found herself in this situation.

As she slowly pieces together her memory, it soon becomes clear that someone has trapped her there, in an inescapable prison, and no one knows that she is even missing. Plunged into a landscape and a plot she is unfit and untrained to handle, Anna Pigeon must muster the courage, determination and will to live that she didn’t even know she still possessed to survive, outwit and triumph.

For those legions of readers who have been entranced over the years by Park Ranger Anna Pigeon’s strength and determination and those who are new to Nevada Barr’s captivating, compelling novels, this is where it all starts.

About The Author

Nevada was born in the small western town of Yerington, Nevada and raised on a mountain airport in the Sierras. Both her parents were pilots and mechanics and her sister, Molly, continued the tradition by becoming a pilot for USAir.

Pushed out of the nest, Nevada fell into the theatre, receiving her BA in speech and drama and her MFA in Acting before making the pilgrimage to New York City, then Minneapolis, MN. For eighteen years she worked on stage, in commercials, industrial training films and did voice-overs for radio. During this time she became interested in the environmental movement and began working in the National Parks during the summers -- Isle Royale in Michigan, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and then on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi.

Woven throughout these seemingly disparate careers was the written word. Nevada wrote and presented campfire stories, taught storytelling and was a travel writer and restaurant critic. Her first novel, Bitterweet was published in 1983. The Anna Pigeon series, featuring a female park ranger as the protagonist, started when she married her love of writing with her love of the wilderness, the summer she worked in west Texas. The first book, Track of the Cat, was brought to light in 1993 and won both the Agatha and Anthony awards for best first mystery. The series was well received and A Superior Death, loosely based on Nevada's experiences as a boat patrol ranger on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, was published in 1994. In 1995 Ill Wind came out. It was set in Mesa Verde, Colorado where Nevada worked as a law enforcement ranger for two seasons.

The rest is, shall we say, HISTORY! Nevada's books and accomplishments have become numerous and the presses continue to roll, so in the interest of NOT having to update this page, books, awards, status on the New York Times Best Seller List -- and more -- will be enumerated with the relevant books else where on this website.

My Review

I've been a huge fan of Nevada Barr ever since I read Ill Wind many years ago.  That book prompted a huge desire to see Mesa Verde National Park that was finally quenched in 2005.  I love her descriptions of the national parks that just make them come alive.

This latest book, The Rope, is a prequel to the Anna Pigeon series.  It is set in the Glen Canyon Recreational Area on Lake Powell.  What a gorgeous setting. I've been to Page and Lake Powell but not extensively so I am quite thrilled to be taken there on the "first" Anna Pigeon adventure. 

The author, Nevada Barr, in this book provides us with the background of Anna's decision to join the National Park Service.  After the death of her husband Zach, Anna leaves New York City for a completely new world...working as a seasonal employee of the National Parks.  She is kidnapped and brutalized for the first third of the book.  The end result of that ordeal gives us the Anna we know.  The Anna that is a strong independent woman. 

Great book filled with action,adventure and mystery.  It was hard to put down as I was dying to know who Anna's tormentor would turn out to be.  Another winner from Nevada Barr.

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