There was a run-down old tollbridge station in the Shoestring Valley of Southern Oregon where Uncle Preston Shiveley had lived for fifty years, outlasting a wife, two sons, several plagues of grasshoppers, wheat-rust and caterpillars, a couple or three invasions of land-hunting settlers and real-estate speculators, and everybody else except the scattering of old pioneers who had cockleburred themselves onto the country at about the same time he did.
Honey in the Horn starts off with this shaggy, homespun sentence that sets the tone for the whole pioneer-themed story. H. L. Davis's classic coming-of-age novel about homesteading in Oregon in the early 1900s has charm enough to still win over readers with its continuous movement and steady introduction of quirky characters.
The story follows orphan Clay Calvert on a series of adventures around Oregon, from his first job on a sheep ranch, through the forests of the rain-sodden Columbia Gorge, to high deserts and wheat fields east of the Cascade Mountains. Davis celebrates the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the diversity of her citizens and settlers.
Honey in the Horn won the 1936 Pulitzer Prize -- the only Pulitzer for an Oregon novel. Some of its social views don’t fly today, but it captures the pioneering spirit and history of its time. The new reprint edition from OSU Press features an introduction by Richard W. Etulain.