Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-11-07
- Reviewer: Staff
National Book Awardfinalist Krivák continues in the tradition of his debut (The Sojourn) with this bleak but breathtaking second novel. The book opens with the death of the family patriarch, Jozef Vinich, who leaves his sprawling farm in Pennsylvanias rural Endless Mountains to his daughter, Hannah, and oldest grandson, Bo. While Bo runs the roughing mill, Hannah tends the chickens, and the two await the return of Bos brother, Sam, who is reported MIA in Vietnam. Told in three parts stretching from Easter to Christmas Eve 1972, the narrative soon picks up steam with the addition of Ruth, Sams pregnant fiancée, and the daughter of the man responsible for killing Hannahs husband in a hunting mishap. By the third section, more backstory has been revealedRuths ancestors ties to Vinichs land, Sams reasons for enlisting, Hannahs long-held grudge against Ruths fatheradding texture and depth to the familys already rich history. Devastating accidents befall these characters and the heartache they endure is palpable. But theres love, too. This family saga is quiet at its core, but its Kriváks gorgeous prose and deep grasp of the relationship between longing and loss that make the book such a stunner. (Jan.)