It’s the summer of 2008, and thirty-five-year-old Ursula Tunder, reeling from the breakup of a bad marriage, has abandoned her career as a botanist and moved home to the family farm to start a wholesale garden-plant greenhouse, and, perhaps more importantly, to care for her ailing father, Joe. Her younger brother, Bodie, now that a shoulder injury has ended his NFL career, comes home as well, to try his hand at organic farming. Their land at the edge of a prosperous college town is coveted by developers. Ursula wants to sell the farm to Camas Valley State University, which has promised to create a research facility on the land, but Bodie and his idealistic wife, Fleece, are committed to farming.
Enter Nu, Ursula and Bodie’s Vietnamese-American cousin by adoption, and an up-and-coming visual artist. When Nu gets arrested after a fight with a pair of dirt bikers, Joe persuades him to take refuge at the Tunder farm. Nu gets pressed into service helping Bodie with farm chores and taking care of Joe, so Ursula seizes the opportunity to get away from the farm, accepting a temporary job surveying native plants in the Cascades. But when Joe’s health plummets and Bodie’s finances crash, Ursula abandons her summer job to return home once again.
Facing bankruptcy, Ursula, Bodie, and Nu enlist a ragtag troupe of land-defenders in a festival of resistance in a last-ditch effort to save a way of life that may disappear forever.
Praise for Weave Me a Crooked Basket…
“You can tell that Charles Goodrich is both a gifted writer and an attentive gardener, giving us a heartening story that is grounded in the way that land and people can heal each other. He has cultivated characters so memorable that I missed them as soon as I read the last page.”
—Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of the New York Times bestseller Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants
“Goodrich masterfully weaves an intricate and deeply satisfying story. It’s a beautiful book in its rich language and profoundly honest voice—funny and smart in its observations. Weave Me a Crooked Basket is a thrilling read and a much-needed antidote to our time, reminding us we can fully embrace the power of the human spirit.”
—Keith Scribner, author of Old Newgate Road, winner of the 2020 Connecticut Book Award