Book Reviews |

Book Reviews

Angle of Repose

Wallace Stegner

By coincidence, I recently both moved here and discovered Wallace Stegner’s 1971 Pulitzer Prize-winning “Angle of Repose,” a novel probably well known to many Nevada County readers.

The elegance of its engineering-term title well fits this literary achievement. The book begins and ends in Grass Valley, though the central story it tells has a broader reach.

Two Easterners, one an artist/writer and one a mining engineer, marry, go west and find a life more vivid and personally challenging than they could have imagined.

Their grandson – having grown and returned after resolving some personal challenges of his own – finds quiet comfort in Grass Valley and writes of their robust life while weaving his own through it.

Along the way, the reader is treated to some history of developing the West and discerning portrayals of the mining industry.

Stegner’s prose is rich in color and content, displaying a keen, observant and thoughtful intelligence while creating a tailing heap of experience and insights, which rests nicely within its angles of repose.

Dave Finch

Grass Valley

We invite readers of The Union to share reviews of the books they found to be worthwhile on our books page.

In no more than 200 words, tell your neighbors why they should read any book that is available in the public libraries or any book that can be purchased from a new-book retailer can be reviewed.

Provide the name of the book, author, publisher and your name and town. Also provide your phone number, which we won’t publish, in case we have questions. Send them to Book Reviews, The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Or you can e-mail to

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User