All But the Waltz: Park Grove

But all during the summer of 1934, shanty settlements have been springing up around the construction site with names like Wheeler, Delano, Park Grove, New Deal, Square Deal, and Cactus Flats. Sylva finds herself living on the edge of Park Grove, near New Deal. She substitute-teaches one day on a school swollen to sixty mismatched pupils. The rest of the time she learns how to live in a boomer settlement. The water from the Park Grove well looks cloudy, so she buys water in a barrel from a man who hauls it in a truck. No electricity, no plumbing. (151)

Blew, Mary Clearman. All But the Waltz: Essays on a Montana Family. New York: Viking Press, 1991.

About the Book

All But the Waltz

First published in 1991, All But the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family is comprised of 11 virtuosic essays about hardship, death and survival on the rugged plains of central Montana.

While the settings in All But the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family clearly reference actual locales, it is understood that the book—including its places—is ultimately the product of the author’s imagination. The intent of this literary map is to enrich the reading experience by interpreting those places, not to render them literally or definitively.

About the Author

Mary Clearman Blew

Mary Clearman Blew grew up on the site of her great-grandfather’s 1882 homestead, along the headwaters of the Judith River north of Lewistown, Montana. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri and is the recipient of numerous awards for her essays, memoirs, short stories and novel—including