In essays that combine memoir with biography of place, Kevin Holdsworth creates a public history of the land he calls home: Good Water, Utah. The high desert of south-central Utah is at the heart of the stories he tells here—about the people, the “survivors and casualties” of the small, remote town—and is at the heart of his own story.
Holdsworth also explores history at a personal level: how Native American history is preserved by local park officials; how Mormon settlers adapted to remote, rugged places; how small communities attract and retain those less likely to thrive closer to population centers; and how he became involved in local politics. He confronts the issues of land use and misuse in the West, from the lack of water to greed and corruption over natural resources, but also considers life’s simple pleasures like the value of scenery and the importance of occasionally tossing a horseshoe.
Good Water’s depiction of modern-day Utah and exploration of friendships and bonding on the Western landscape will fascinate and entice readers in the West and beyond.