Keeping Watch (2003)

keeping_watchAllen Carmichael balanced on the precariously slim branch of the vine maple, pawing aside the soft new greenery and cursing the incompatibility of most trees with the human body. Particularly a six-foot-one-inch human body with a stiff leg, working its way through a sixth decade. Too old for this kind of stunt, he grumbled to himself. No doubt about: It really was time to turn this side of things over to some younger maniac.

For a longer sample of Keeping Watch, click here.

To Buy a Copy

Bookshop Santa Cruz (ask for a signed copy!)

What they say

Keeping Watch received starred reviews in all four major pre-publication journals.

At its simplest, this is the story of a man who helps rescue women and/or children from dangerously abusive men. King’s lengthy, brilliantly executed backstory of Allen Carmichael’s experiences in Vietnam, his disastrously unhappy return home and his eventual discovery of his ‘calling’ showcase some of her finest writing. (Publishers Weekly)

Some stories scour the soul. This one is full of things that hurt: scary, horrible, humiliating things. It is also an exquisitely wrought exploration of the many different kinds of love.” “The details of Jamie’s father’s psychological abuse of him will make readers dizzy and breathless; how Allen and his cadre of associates reintroduce Jamie to the simple tasks of daily living is heartbreakingly tender. Along the way, King, in her excoriating, gorgeous prose, ignites the jungles of Vietnam, the sly worlds of computer gaming, life in the Pacific Northwest, and the kind of offhand devotion brothers can give each other. King works layers within layers like carved ivory spheres and makes a tale that holds one taut on every page.  (Booklist)


For Laurie’s thoughts on writing Keeping Watch, visit her blog, Mutterings.

For information on the war in Vietnam see this or this.

To learn about post traumatic stress disorder, click here.

For an article on the organization Children of the Underground click here.

For a bibliography and Laurie’s suggestions to teacher and book groups, click here.

LKR’s thoughts on writing her standalone novels.

To hear an audio clip of Keeping Watch, click here.


Sunset in the San Juans