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Set against a backdrop of the remote northern Maine wilderness, fishing, hunting, and the pleasures of outdoor life bring together a mismatched pair of friends—weaving back and forth between past and present, it follows the friendship of ivy-league educated George Mayes and semi-literate woodsman and logger Evan Butcher. George, a drunk from his college days has a critical, life-changing moment of insight, and begins postgraduate life, however improbably, as a reckless school bus driver. After getting clean and sober, he develops a successful school transportation business. Having taken a number of trips to the north woods, he has come to know and revere Evan. At the story’s opening, Evan is a store of knowledge, decency, and even of wisdom. But after a series of horrendous family tragedies, he begins to succumb to alcohol himself.

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