Idaho

61mPe2WuzeL._SX343_BO1,204,203,200_By Emily Ruskovich

The Short Take:

I could not put this book down but I can’t tell you why. The language was positively lyrical, however the story was unsatisfying. It wasn’t helped by having at least nine different points of view, time jumping, and massive amounts of internal conflict rather than external action.

Why?

If I considered myself a literary critic instead of a mere book lover, I might have had much stronger positive feelings about this writer’s debut novel. Unfortunately, I’m shallower than that.

The biggest problem was that I couldn’t accept the premise the storytelling centered upon (which I can’t reveal here without spoiling everything). In addition, the horrific events described in this novel (they all happen “off camera”) are all unresolved mysteries — you might learn who, but never understand why.

Guilt, remorse, escape, and the impossibility of redemption are all recurring themes, thoughtfully treated. There are moments of exceptional tenderness between characters. Knowledge — both for the reader and the characters — is revealed in an intriguing, compelling way. But for all that, it just didn’t satisfy.

A Little Plot:

Ann marries Wade and they live on a remote mountain. He experienced a tragedy that completely removed his wife and two daughters from his life; and he has removed every physical trace of them from his present. Ann is obsessed with learning more about them and what exactly happened yet doesn’t want to upset Wade with questions.

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