This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Certain Slant of Light by Cynthia Thayer

This was a really great book with a somber tone.

Peter is a man who has lost so much. His family, years before, lost in a home fire...that he missed due to a bagpipe competition (yes, it sounds funny but it works in the book). We learn late in the novel why he lives with so much guilt -- an assumption that the reader has until it's finally revealed.

Peter lives alone, with his beloved companion, Dog. Life is just OK. He gets by. Taking care of himself "old school": grows his own veggies, rears his own meat, burns his own fuel, and is fine by that.

An ice storm hits and with it, comes Elaine. A devout Jenova's Witness, eight months pregnant, who wanders away from her husband, the elders, her life, to give herself some time. That time ends up being with Peter, who grows to fall in love with the young mother.

The details of their lives together can get to be too much...mainly, the details of killing a chicken, shearing lamb, or walking over dead sheep bodies. That gets to be a little much but it only leads to more about how these people live.

Thayer does an amazing job of having the reader attach to the characters. It is not a happy book. When Dog passes away, I cried.

Thayer has an amazing writing style and I look forward to reading more novels from her.

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