Keeping the Swarm New and Selected Essays4stars



Coming of age in the Pacific Northwest

By George Venn
Wordcraft of Oregon, $15.95, 220 pages

In this latest collection of essays George Venn explores growing up, coming of age, and starting a family in the Pacific Northwest. Each essay tackles a different memory from growing up as a young man in the rural side of the West. From the mountains of Washington with his grandfather and grandmother, who eke out an existence with honeybees and logging. To living with his new step dad in the big city, and then moving around from town to town, and the alienation of not staying in one spot. The carefree days of winter in Northern Idaho, sliding down the local hills with the other boys; driving around town in the snow and ice. Taking a chance at adventure by going to Spain as a young student to experience the culture and getting a rude awakening; each essay explores the concept of memory and childhood. Do the memories that we hold dear really matter when we get older? Mr. Venn believes that they do, by recounting a different time than today; when things moved at a slower pace and it was not all about speed.

Reviewed by Kevin Winter

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