Jack Taylor’s family moves often, and Jack has learned how to acclimate quickly, but he’s a city kid, and this new home, a cabin in the woods outside an isolated Oregon logging town, is different. Not much logging goes on around Parson’s Creek these days, only Everett Wright, the old man who lives up the hill, still goes into the towering cedars that seem to have a life of their own.
Jack is left to his own devices in a high school that offers no course he hasn’t already taken and with only Jim, the kid down the road, as a friend. He and Jim explore the woods and find the abandoned logging camp. What they see reveals a mystery that only Jack wants to solve. Jim says they’ve already seen too much. People died at that camp, and this town doesn’t want to talk about it.
The Taylor family moved again at the end of the school year. Some fifty years later, Jack looks back at the year living amongst the tall cedars, the mystery that remains, and the tragedies that have continued.
On Parson’s Creek combines a teenaged boy’s coming-of-age with mystery spiced by a touch of mysticism. The author creates realistic characters and a believable high school ambiance without wallowing in adolescent angst. The setting, so vivid you can smell the cedars, will appeal to the nature lover, and the well-paced story will engage older readers as well as young adults.
YA is a change of pace for me, but I read On Parson’s Creek because I have an on-line acquaintance with the author. I’m publishing a review because I really liked the book.