Before I really get into this, I should clarify that I respond to fiction and non-fiction in very distinct ways. I’ve always hated literary criticism because fiction tends to be very emotional for me, and when I love something and really connect with it, I don’t want to talk about syntax and symbolism and shit. With non-fiction, I respond in a more analytical way that allows me to be both passionately in love and capable of critique. So since this is about a novel, it’s not so much critique as it is personal response.

On that note, a quick recap: the book is set in the 1930s, in Montana, and is a coming-of-age story told through the perspective of Jick, the 14-year-old son of a forest ranger (Mac), who is trying to sort out his family’s past. English Creek is a fantastic book, but it meant more to me than just great fiction.