When Talmadge was a young boy, his father died in a mining accident. His mother packed their belongings and collected the boy and his younger sister, and headed out to a part of the western territories known today as Washington State. She taught them about farming, growing fruit trees and learning to love the land. Then, when the boy was 15 years old she died. Two years following the death of his mother, his beloved sister disappears. This is where the book begins and the reader becomes acquainted with a solitary young man, chafed with heartache, who puts his very soul into the land he tenderly looks after. Then one day, two young girls cross his path and he is forever changed.
“He did not articulate it as such, but he thought of the land as holding his sister – her living form, or her remains.”
This amazing debut novel really gets under your skin. Coplin’s eloquence and purposeful phrasing gives way to a refreshing sense of place and time. It is both uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. Her mastery of metaphor leaves you with the feeling that Coplin is a much more accomplished author than a first time novelist. Definitely one of the best of 2012! Many thanks to Harper Collins Books for the Advance Review Copy.
5 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2012