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Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River Paperback – June 14, 2022

4.7 out of 5 stars 338 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A lyrical companion to his father’s classic, chronicling their family’s history and bond with Montana’s Blackfoot River. His storytelling — from the fishing with his dad to the life and death of his uncle Paul — is reliable, elegant and charming. … Spectacularly vivid and personal. … While Maclean’s journalistic prose is sharp and concise, it can also be beautiful.”  -- Washington Post

"The prose in Home Waters, which is often transporting, flows with a shadow-cast grace. ... The best word I can think of to describe Home Waters also happens to be the Maclean’s family word: beautiful." -- Field & Stream

"A memoir about the Maclean family’s four-generation tie to Montana’s Blackfoot River that elaborates on the back story of Norman Maclean’s extraordinary 1976 novella A River Runs Through It." -- Wall Street Journal

"Maclean’s father, Norman, wrote the classic novella A River Runs through It. This memoir is an ode to its inspirations." -- New York Times Book Review, "New & Noteworthy"

“A worthy non-fiction companion to his father’s classic, A River Runs Through It. … Reminded me of Herman Melville recounting whaling minutiae in Moby Dick. … Throughout Home Waters, Maclean shows that he’s a real writer. But he’s also a real reporter with a long career for the Chicago Tribune." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"Graceful and compelling. ... Greatly expands what we might already know about Montana, fly fishing and the meaning of family. ... This is a great book." -- Chicago Tribune

“A wonderful book about fathers, sons, brothers, and family." -- USA Today

“A moving memoir of a family’s love affair with the Blackfoot River in Montana. … Lovers of literature and nature will be captivated by this heartfelt tribute to place and family.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In this welcome companion to an American classic, John N. Maclean casts a story of place, family, and legacy: of highland streams and woodlands, and the gifts waiting in their depths; of a quiet father with much to share; and of the sometimes meandering, sometimes tumbling courses that carry us through life. A spare, patient, and compelling reminiscence that stays with you.” -- Earl Swift, New York Times bestselling author of Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island

"Finally, a brilliant, intimate, and reliable chronicle of the remarkable Maclean family and the origins of a great book, welded seamlessly to the memorable angling days and writing life of a central member. I loved Home Waters."  -- Nick Lyons, author of Spring Creek

"I can honestly say I loved Home Waters. Reading it felt like a visit with old friends--the characters from A River Runs through It—who you haven’t seen in a long while, during which you learned some things you’d never known before. John N. Maclean’s book does a wonderful job of illustrating the importance of family and place—something we can all relate to even if the particulars of our stories are very different." -- Kirby Lambert, Montana Historical Society

“John Maclean's Home Waters is a wonderful reflection on how a sense of place and shared activity, especially sport, defines our lives, our families, and the meaning we find in them.” -- David Brooks, executive director, Montana Trout Unlimited

“Maclean’s Hemingway-esque prose is as clear as a mountain stream, flowing with a poetic cadence and lyrically describing the many splendid natural treasures to be found under the Big Sky. A sure bet for readers who enjoy American and natural history and a must-read for fishing enthusiasts.” -- Booklist

“Maclean offers a lyrical love letter to Montana’s Blackfoot River, fishing, and his storied family in this captivating memoir. … Fans of his father’s novella will relish the details that served as its inspiration and are here rendered in Maclean’s sharp yet poetic prose. … This richly observed narrative is sure to reel readers in.” -- Publishers Weekly

“The mythology of fly-fishing in the West is richer because of this book.” -- Angler's Journal

"A must-read. ... Its narrative revolves around relationships rooted in Montana's favorite pastime, connecting with anyone who covets the meditative value of casting for trout on familiar rivers. ... Pick up a copy to read this summer and let your mind wander to the waters you call home." -- Outside Bozeman

“Even if you aren’t a fly-fishing aficionado and don’t know a wet fly from a dry one, you just might be hooked within the first few pages as Maclean reels you into this engaging book of family, place and history.” -- Helena Independent Record

About the Author

JOHN N. MACLEAN is an award-winning author and journalist. He spent thirty years at the Chicago Tribune, most of that time as a Washington correspondent. After leaving the Tribune, Maclean wrote five nonfiction books about wildland fire that are considered a staple of fire literature as well as training material for firefighters. Maclean is the son of Norman Maclean, author of A River Runs Through It. The younger Maclean, an avid fly fisherman, lives in Washington, DC, and at a family cabin in Montana.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Custom House (June 14, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062944606
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062944603
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.4 ounces
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 338 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
338 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on June 6, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful addition to a long line of fine Maclean writing...
By Tbd on June 4, 2021
"Home Waters" is everything a fan of the Maclean's books could want - it provides insight into the book that started it all as well as delightful, entertaining and reflective family history of a unique family. Highly recommended and deeply appreciated. The photo included in the review is explained in the last chapters...
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Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2021
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