Synopses & Reviews
In the early seventies, some of us were shot like stars out of our parents’ homes. This was an act of nature, bigger than ourselves. In the austere beauty and natural reality of Hell’s Canyon of Eastern Oregon, one hundred miles from pavement, Pam, unable to identify with her parent’s world and looking for deeper pathways, has a chance encounter with returning Vietnam warrior Skip Royes. Skip, looking for a bridge from survival back to connection, introduces Pam to the vanishing culture of the wandering shepherd and together they embark on a four-year sojourn into the wilderness. From the back of a horse, Pam leads her packstring of readers from overlook to water crossing, down trails two thousand years old, and from the vantages she chooses for us, we feel the edges of our own experiences. It is a memoir of falling in love with a place and a man and the price extracted for that love. Written with deep lyricism and with an introduction from Teresa Jordan, Temperance Creek is a work of haunting beauty, fresh and irreverent and rooted in the grit and pleasure of daily life. This is Pam’s story, but the courage and truth in the telling is part of our human experience. Seen through a slower more primary mirror, one not so crowded with objectivity, Pam’s memoir is a kind of homecoming, a family reunion for shooting stars.
"What’s going to happen to a girl child from a sedate household who names her bicycle Dynamite? By this book’s lights, her trajectory veers from home into a feral thirst for a different life made from scratch in the mountains. Temperance Creek takes you back to the land in the company of a sensitive, wise, and zesty woman and her chosen man. She’ll guide you into remote corners of Oregon and Idaho to herd sheep, lust for the horizontal vertigo of full gallop, ponder the outback ways of men and women, suffer a lost brother, champion a warrior’s search for peace, and roll a smoke on horseback as the storm gathers overhead. By reading, it’s not too late to live this life. This is a book you will savor, and give to the lucky among your friends." Kim Stafford, author of 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared
"There’s more true magic in this book than many I’ve read in years. Pam Royes’ voice is clear and sinewy, supremely honest, humble, brave, and funny, and her love story, set in the wilderness in a time of profound cultural transition, is incandescently vivid, earthy and real. Temperance Creek is compulsively readable, and refreshing as a plunge in a deep clear swimming hole." Karen Fisher, author of A Sudden Country
"Heartfelt and brimming with lyrical appreciation for nature and personal freedom, this is not only the account of a woman who followed the stirrings of a restless heart. It is also a kind of elegy to the youthful rebels and dreamers of the late 1960s and early ’70s in search of new ways of being and belonging. A modern frontier adventure for nature lovers and armchair travelers alike." Kirkus Reviews
"Pam Royes has written a grand story, overflowing with hunger and beauty and pluck. Held within her tale is an exquisite gift: the chance to see a woman and a man shaped and sculpted — and in the end, made more gloriously human — by having merged their lives with one of the wildest, most spectacular landscapes on Earth." Gary Ferguson, author of The Carry Home: Lessons from the American Wilderness
About the Author
Pamela Royes lives with her husband in Northeastern Oregon where they raise cattle and hay. They have two children and three grandchildren. She is currently working on a book of fiction.