Sunday, October 16, 2016

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

Emily Ruskovich
publication date: 1/2017
5/5 stars

Idaho is a difficult book to summarize.  It begins with Ann.  She is Wade's second wife, and wants desperately to understand more of the tragedy that occurred in his recent past.  The focus then moves to various characters that are involved in some aspect of the tragedy, sharing small slices of their lives.  The state of Idaho, itself, as well as Nature, feature as important characters throughout the book.  The main theme is memory, both fallible and infallible, with atonement, love, human needs, and, finally, hope, as other themes.  To tell any more than this would, I think, spoil the experience of reading this book.

The story is told in a nonlinear fashion, so that the past is told side by side with the present, and then even with the future.   Ruskovich's prose is haunting, unsettling, poetic.   There is no real climax, and no real conclusion, and yet it is a compelling read.  I was left swimming in emotions that took days to sort through before I could review it.

 Idaho raises so many questions and invokes so many feelings, that it would be a great book for discussion; I would especially recommend it for pairs of readers or for a book club.

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