From forest fires to sheep counts, haying season to a whizbang Fourth of July celebration, Jick McCaskill moves through the summer of 1939 in Montana's Two Medicine country. For Jick it's "The Summer When..." He begins noticing a lot of things, including the fact that "time is the trickiest damn commodity," and he won't be a boy for very much longer. Full of charm and drollery, English Creek is not for the easily bored, but it's worth the patience if you want to see how an author can sometimes make the language get up and dance. The characters are vivid and the vernacular sublime. Some of the one-liners might make you wish you had occasion to recycle them. My favorite line comes when one guy goes up on a rock outcropping to relieve himself and Jick's father says, "I hope you've got a good foothold up there. Because you sure don't have all that much of a handhold." (Ouch!)If you find this book too slow moving but you want a taste of Doig's magic, pick up The Whistling Season. It's a masterpiece of storytelling.