Sunday, 6 July 2008

Story of a Family

Finished July 5
Undiscovered Country by Lin Enger
This is a wonderful first novel centering around a young man and his father's death.
Jesse goes hunting with his father, a normal occurence for the two of them. They occur two different hunting blinds, out of sight of each other. At the end of a long day, with no game, Jesse hears a single shot and immediately realizes something is wrong. He finds his father dead, seemingly at his own hand, and yet he just can't accept that his father would do this. He can't find a reason for what would make his father take his own life, knowing that Jesse would be the one to find him.
Haunted by his father's ghost, Jesse looks for answers and looks at his family with different eyes. Unsupported by his mother, the police or his friends, he looks hard at the people around him, trying to find reasons for what has happened to his family.
During this time, the young woman, Christine Montez, already someone Jesse is drawn to, becomes an important part of his life. She too is undergoing family difficulties, and yet supports him in his quest, to a point.
As the jacket notes indicate, there are overtones of the story of Hamlet here, with all the elements of betrayal and revenge. Jesse is a young man, forced to become an adult by the circumstances in which he finds himself. This is a wonderful book, and a writer who bears watching.

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