Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: West of Here

Swest of heresummary from goodreads-From the rugged mudflats of the Northwestern frontier to a rusting strip mall, West of Here is a conversation between two epochs. In his eagerly awaited second novel, Jonathan Evison tells the stories of the people who first inhabited the mythical town of Port Bonita in Washington State from 1887-1891. Moving ahead more than a century to 2005-06, he introduces those who live there now and must deal with the damage done by their predecessors.

The characters are drawn with compassion and truth, the themes are grand and sweeping: regeneration, the trappings of history, the elusive nature of perception, who makes footprints and who follows them. Evison writes with heart and verve, capturing evocative details and unforgettable scenes.

My Thoughts- I really like how there are multiple plots so that it feels as if you are reading several books in one. When the story moves back and forth you can see how what the 1887 generation thought was a good idea has disastrous consequences for the 2007 generation.

Although the town is mythical and therefore not real Evison does a good job at providing some history to go along with the story. He develops the plots and the characters so well that the reader has no problem getting swept up in the story.

However I did find it to be slow going at first but after around 150 pages I figured out what he was attempting to do with all the different plotlines and characters and after that I started to really like the story. The reader has to be able to stick it out in the beginning though.

It is well worth the effort it takes to keep track of all the plotlines and characters in this book. The story is very rewarding to read.

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