In this beautiful coming-of-age memoir, Alice Koskela captures that peculiar mix of innocence and ruthlessness which is childhood—that time when we know far less than we think we do, and far more than any adult might guess. The Pull of Moving Water describes the cultural simmering of the 1950s and the explosion of the 1960s from the vantage point of a girl growing up inside those years, yet impossibly removed from anything that seems to matter. She’s stuck on a farm in southern Idaho, a state so remote and uncool that Dick Clark makes fun of it on American Bandstand.
The Pull of Moving Water is stunning in its honesty—about growing up gentile among the Mormons, about what the Cold War did to children, particularly those in the path of mysterious, powdery “bomb rains” that blew in from the Nevada tests, about the cruelty of a breast-obsessed culture for adolescent girls. It will pull you in and take you back, a gracefully written story that recalls the joy and pain of childhood and of an era, lived out in a place that was not, after all, so far away.
Photographs / 128 pages (1999)