No Reck'Ning Made Hardcover – 1 Oct 1993
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As a leader in the community, she's also at the forefront of trying to maintain the best part of the old values against the encroachment of the ski industry and wealthy weekenders from Denver. Clara is smart enough to value the gains (heat, indoor plumbing, relative comfort) while trying to mitigate the impact of the losses (less community, divide of rich-poor). Eventually, that cultural-sociological clash creates a crisis that could lead to her downfall.
The book is true to life in a lot of ways, but that's also its downfall. It's so obvious and so cliched in many cases that I cringed at what was coming next. Clara's visits to the homes of each new family and her ideas about how to help lift up the few truly promising kids of the most dysfunctional parents are praiseworthy, but they read like the stuff of a sappy novel --- which this novel does not aspire to be. Clara saves a girl from possible rape, and in doing so, transforms one of the town bullies into a scholar. She takes another girl who, quite literally, lives in an abandoned bus in a junkyard, and teaches her bookkeeping and gets her through college. And so on.
Do things like that happen in real life? Yeah, sort of. But the way they occur in this book feels too easy.
By far the most interesting part of the book are the descriptions of the seasons, typography and flora-fauna of Gold Flume and the surrounding gullies, foothills and mountains. I greatly enjoyed reading about the changing seasons, the burst of springtime flowers, the way sounds echoed through gullies and sometimes appeared closer or farther than they were, the mistakes made by newcomers who insisted on planting trees that couldn't stand the dryness or the late-spring cold spells. The author has a real feeling for and knowledge about the land in which the book is placed.