The Book, Restigouche: The Long Run of the WIld River, by Philip Lee weaves a narrative throughout that enthralls us and emotes feelings of bonding with nature in a setting that is infused with Lee’s love for the river. It’s a wonderfully complex and well-written assimilation of thoughts and views about the state of one river, fused with the theme of constancy and conservation that is found on every page. Lee explores the physical and literal state of the river through the natural and lyrical grace of the flow of water using the dividers of time, water and flow to bring us along on his journey.
We meet so many affable and likeable characters who are attached to the love of the river…along with the original river people of the native land known as Mi’gmag’i. The Ecology & Conservation message is displayed with a reverent voice, almost spiritual in nature, as we are led to understand Lee’s own reverence for the quality of life and preservation shown in this homage to a river and a way of life. There is an unwavering lens envisioned within his prose.
The Unfolding Drama of the River
We are led to seek the references mentioned, to understand where we are in this still unfolding drama of the river, Restigouche. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring is invoked along with the past journeys of Lee & his family that began in childhood. Finally, there is the journalist Philip Lee using his own past work where he documents the journey of salmon and the environmental warning that is inherent throughout.
These are all part of the landscape that sweeps us up in a compelling narrative, an unfolding saga of friendship and family, and a continuing panorama of sights and sounds meant to be experienced in awe and read with reverence and urgency of the excitement to explore and to venture forth.
One doesn’t have to be a daredevil adventurer or ecologist or any particular category of person to capture the excitement of this call to explore further or to understand with depth the simple majesty described in Lee’s love for the River Restigouche.