Deep Creek (Hardcover)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780547237480, 320pp.
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
About the Author
Praise For Deep Creek…
A Washington Post Best Novel of 2010
"The roundup of serious writers who have written Westerns [since 1966 includes], this year, Deep Creek by Dana Hand (pen name of Anne Matthews and Will Howarth), a grim and fascinating fictional account of the actual slaughter of Chinese miners in 1870s Idaho."--Allen Barra, The Daily Beast.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- The story emerges from four actions: Lee asks Joe to lead an investigation; Henry asks Grace to come and help; after a ten-year absence, Grace agrees; and Joe consents to let Grace serve as river guide. What motives, evident and secret, impel these events?
- Joe is a lawyer and investigator, able to examine bits of evidence and find cause-effect patterns. But certain liars can fool him entirely. Why?
- Grace is quick, intuitive, learned, and bitter. What are the sources of her frustrations?
- At first, Lee Loi is cheerful, self-centered, and cocky. What are the sources of his confidence? Why are his views so conventional?
- A refrain in Joe's life is How much of that is true? The recurring answer: As much as you want it to be. Why are the crimes at Deep Creek so important to him?
- On the return journey to Deep Creek, we learn that Grace has second sight and strange abilities. How does this side of her affect relations with others, especially Joe?
- When and why does Lee begin to change? What role does he play after the river trips?
- When do the three investigators truly become a team?
- How do the Chinese miners behave, as individuals and as a group? Are they strange, alien, or clannish, as their detractors claimed? What aspects of their lives are most surprising?
- Duty and honor take many forms. Is Joe a patriot? Is Jackson? Is Grace a good daughter? Is Nell? Why will Dow and Yap never break their promise to Elder Boss?
- Why is Libby Leland so calculating and controlling? Why is she so successful?
- Why is Blue Evans such a natural leader of men? What were his motives at Deep Creek?
- How would Vollmer tell this story? How would Libby?
- Why are so many of the characters wanderers, or exiles? What makes a family?
- After the trial, each character experiences a process of compensation. Explain.