I probably wouldn’t have touched this book if I had known what it was about. I finished it and loved it before I realized it had won a Pulitzer. It was great in that “I don’t normally like books like this” sort of way. It’s a set of family stories told through the mind and eyes of a dying man. It’s thick with pathos, even as the various stories are full of all sorts of life. The most similar author I thought of was Annie Proulx, a lot of bleak characters, stuck in intractable messes, full of longing. A great short book, pick it up even if you think you don’t usually like this sort of thing.
I was really excited that here was a Gibson book I hadn’t read yet. I enjoy all of his novels. I like the austere settings, the interesting female characters and the semi-scifi aspect of them. This was had all of that, set against a post-9/11 world where massive amounts of time and energy are spent on subterfuge and undoing subterfuge. As with most Gobsin books, it’s a little tough to tell exactly what’s going on and how all the pieces fit together but it’s not confusing or maddening and you can relax and get caught up in the characters and settings.
This was a terrific Vermont-y suspense book that seems like it’s going to be a whole bunch of different stories that you’ve read before but in the end it’s interesting, exciting and makes you think. I enjoyed reading this front to back.