I received a free copy for my honest review.
About the Book:
• Publisher: Harper (September 2, 2014)
About the Author:
This was a book that took me a bit to get used the the author’s rhythm of writing but once I did I was rewarded. It was not a light or happy book by any stretch of the imagination but it was a book that made me think and really evoked a range of emotions.
It takes place in Washington Territory at the very end of the 19th century when it was still a wild and untamed area. Mr. Hart knows how to create a mood and I swear sometimes I could feel the humidity as I sat and experienced the story. It’s told in alternating voices and the core characters are the Ellstroms; Jacob, Nell and their young son Duncan. They have moved to the area so Jacob can practice medicine but a visit from his brother – evil personified who leaves nothing but destruction in his wake – breaks the family apart causing Jacob to run off leaving Nell alone with the care of Duncan. He grows up with little direction and his life is not easy and disaster awaits.
It is a dark book. Very dark. It takes place in a different time and it is written within its time with the attitudes and mores of its time so it is far from politically correct for today’s sensibilities. But for it to remain true to its story this is necessary and so are the scenes of violence. This is not a book that glosses over what it takes to create a society out of wilderness. Nor does it gloss over the evil that man can inflict upon man.
Excepting Nell most of the characters are hard to like but that did not make me hate the book like happens quite often for me. The writing gathered me up and drew me in despite them. It was a challenge to read, it was hard to read but I’m very glad that I did read it.
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