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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nightwoods

I am going through books like water this month.  I picked up Nightwoods by Charles Frazier on the recommendation of Entertainment Weekly; it listed this along with The Submission as books that should have been considered more strongly for a Pulitzer.  Can anyone else say, "YES!!!"

Luce takes care of a cabin in the woods.  She has gone through some stuff and has no family to speak of.  Her sister, Lilly, was murdered by her deadbeat and dangerous husband, Bud, and suddenly Luce finds herself with her very young twin neice and nephew who are hardened by their past as well.  When Bud shows up to town looking for the money he is sure the children possess, things turn violent fast and all must find a way to survive.

This novel floored me.  It was gripping and it was stunning and it frightened me and I could not put it down.  The characters are so rich and so full, and holy moly Bud is a frightening man.  He has no scrupples and will go to the ends of the earth to get rid of the children that may reveal his truth.  Frazier is a clear writer and tells a story with such compunction for his characters that I was just bowled over by his storytelling.  You know how sometimes you have a book in your hand and you can't turn the pages fast enough to get to the rest of the story and your breath is heavy and you have a knot in the pit of your stomach? 

Welcome to Nightwoods, kids.

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