In 1903 a mysterious young woman flees alone across the West, one heart-pounding step ahead of the law. At nineteen, Mary Boulton has just become a widow--and her husband's killer. As bloodhounds track her frantic race toward the mountains, she is tormented by mad visions and by the knowledge that her two ruthless brothers-in-law are in pursuit, determined to avenge their younger brother's death. Responding to little more than the primitive fight for life, the widow retreats ever deeper into the wilderness--and into the wilds of her own mind--encountering an unforgettable cast of eccentrics along the way.
With the stunning prose and captivating mood of great works like Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain or early Cormac McCarthy, Gil Adamson's intoxicating debut novel weds a brilliant literary style to the gripping tale of one woman's desperate escape.
Starred Review. Set in 1903, Adamson's compelling debut tells the wintry tale of 19-year-old Mary Boulton ([w]idowed by her own hand) and her frantic odyssey across Idaho and Montana. The details of Boulton's sad past--an unhappy marriage, a dead child, crippling depression--slowly emerge as she reluctantly ventures into the mountains, struggling to put distance between herself and her two vicious brothers-in-law, who track her like prey in retaliation for her killing of their kin. Boulton's journey and ultimate liberation--made all the more captivating by the delirium that runs in the recesses of her mind--speaks to the resilience of the female spirit in the early part of the last century. Lean prose, full-bodied characterization, memorable settings and scenes of hardship all lift this book above the pack. Already established as a writer of poetry (Ashland) and short stories (Help Me, Jacques Cousteau), Adamson also shines as novelist. (Apr.)
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1 . Unusual, Interesting Story
Posted December 21, 2010 by Constant Reader , Upstate NYThis book is good on two levels; it is a very well-written, very different story and it is a good read. The heroine (?) starts out "mad as a hatter" and continues that way for a long time and her adventures in themselves are fascinating. Her evolution and ways of dealing with the various adversities which beset her (unfaithful brute of a husband, her brothers-in-law pursuing her across country into the mountains and all over, the cruelties of mother nature) are very good. Pretty good ending, too.
May 05, 2008
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