Sunday, December 6, 2015
December is here and the holiday season has begun. Now I'm in a mad rush to buy gifts for Christmas, grade papers and do final grades for my college class and read as many books as possible to up my total of books read for 2015. There is only 3 and a half more weeks of the year to read and I'm behind in my reading goal. I don't think I'm going to make it to 90 books this year. Sad.
December's author is new to me. His name is Lin Enger and we met briefly at the Twin Cities Book Festival. His books come highly recommended by my bookish friends so I'm excited to read them. Lin has a brother named Leif Enger, who is also a writer, and many of you have possibly heard of him or read his famous novel, Peace Like a River.
Here are Lin Enger's books and the synopsis from Goodreads:
The High Divide: “A deeply moving, gripping novel about one man’s quest for redemption and his family’s determination to learn the truth . . . Layered with meaning, this remarkable novel deserves to be read more than once. The High Divide proves Enger’s chops as a masterful storyteller.” —Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise
In 1886, Gretta Pope wakes one morning to discover that her husband is gone. Ulysses Pope has left his family behind on the far edge of Minnesota’s western prairie with only the briefest of notes and no explanation for why he left or where he’s headed. It doesn’t take long for Gretta’s young sons, Eli and Danny, to set off after him, following the scant clues they can find, jumping trains to get where they need to go, and ending up in the rugged badlands of Montana.
Gretta has no choice but to search for her sons and her husband, leading her to the doorstep of a woman who seems intent on making Ulysses her own. Meanwhile, the boys find that the closer they come to Ulysses’ trail, the greater the perils that confront them, until each is faced with a choice about whom he will defend, and who he will become.
Enger’s breathtaking portrait of the vast plains landscape is matched by the rich expanse of his characters’ emotional terrain, as pivotal historical events--the bloody turmoil of expansionism, the near total demise of the bison herds, and the subjugation of the Plains Indians--blend seamlessly with the intimate story of a family’s sacrifice and devotion.
Undiscovered Country: Unaware that his life is about to change in ways he can't imagine, seventeen-year-old Jesse Matson ventures into the northern Minnesota woods with his father on a cold November afternoon. Perched on individual hunting stands a quarter-mile apart, they wait with their rifles for white-tailed deer. When the muffled crack of a gunshot rings out, Jesse unaccountably knows something is wrong-and he races through the trees to find his dad dead of a rifle wound, apparently self-inflicted.
But would easygoing Harold Matson really kill himself? If so, why?
Haunted by the ghost of his father, Jesse delves into family secrets, wrestles with questions of justice and retribution, and confronts the nature of his own responsibility. And just when he's decided that he alone must shoulder his family's burden, the beautiful and troubled Christine Montez enters his life, forcing him to reconsider his plans.
In spare, elegant prose, Lin Enger tells the story of a young man trying to hold his family together in a world tipped suddenly upside down. Set among pristine lakes and beneath towering pines, Undiscovered Country is at once a bold reinvention of Shakespeare's
Hamlet and a hair-bristling story of betrayal, revenge, and the possibilities of forgiveness.
This month you can expect a giveaway, a book review, an author interview and if we are lucky a guest post. Please check out Lin Enger's books and her website at http://www.lin-enger.com/