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Word Count: 1,356
In Jack Hodgins latest novel Broken Ground the inhabitants of the small forest community of Portuguese Creek are deeply affected by its extreme conditions Matthew Pearson a local farmer and former soldier has his life utterly transformed from living in Portuguese Creek For Tanner Pearson Matthews ten year old son living in Portuguese Creek has nothing but negative consequences Lastly Charlie MacKintosh Tanners friend is adversely affected by his time spent in the harsh wilderness of the settlement Portuguese Creek touches the lives of all who dwell within its untamed heart Matthew Pearson is a typical farmer in the wild soldiers settlement of Portuguese Creek who like many others becomes involved in some atypical events He comes to the settlement with his wife Maude whom he marries shortly after the first World War and fathers two children He like many others is filled with both awe and terror toward the land he is expected to settle as is proven when he states that When he first set eyes on the logged-off stretch of second-growth timber he was expected to turn into a farm he was shaken with the extravagant beauty of the green Pacific world Snow-peaked mountains thick underbrush high as his waist and salt water so close he could smell it But he was scared off right away by the unexpected Forest fires mountain lions and rain Book 1 Chapter 2 P17 The harshness of his surroundings also has adverse effects on his sanity At some points he loses touch with reality and is thrown into a memory of the war Every time it is caused by either the absolute beauty or terrible viciousness of nature In chapter thirteen he takes a midnight horseback ride through the wilderness and is struck by the elegance of his surroundings As he rides he notes an abandoned logging building that was left behind after the company decided the area was too uncivilized Upon
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