Recapitulation by Wallace Stegner


I was first introduced to this wonderful author with his classic, Big Rock Candy Mountain.  The same characters of a boy and his parents continue in this work, as the now grown Bruce Mason, returns home to Salt Lake City following the death of an aunt – the last of his living family.

Stegner is a master of prose.  His lyrical writing style gently carries you into the world of Mason’s past, hovering around the year 1929.  Amazingly, despite the era, Stegner’s foray into his character’s thoughts and emotions, has the ability to strike a chord with modern readers –  the subject matter being truly timeless.  Mason confronts a past and people which, although painful, represent a pivotal time in his life.  It’s a time when he realizes that he is not doomed to repeat the sins of his father, but that his life could be much, much more.  Recapitulation is a recollection of the singular events in Bruce Mason’s past, but only Mason himself realizes their importance.

A beautiful work, and one which I highly recommend.

4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1979
278 pages


About Suzanne

I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids who loves to read.
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