The High Divide by Lin Enger

1.First lines 2. Publisher: Workman Publishing 3. Photograph of the map inside the book 4. North Pacific Railroad. University of Washington [Public Domain] via Wikimedia
I really liked this book.
Just great storytelling.

In 1886, Gretta and Ulysses Pope live with their two sons, Eli and Danny in a small town in the Minnesota west. Ulysses leaves secretly with no explanation. With no idea where he has gone, and when he is likely to return, Eli and Danny leave home to find him. Anxious to have her sons back, Gretta also sets out to find out what has happened to her husband.

“Whenever you’ve got something over on a man, like you have on me – when he owes you something, I mean – you’ve got to make damn sure that you get everything out of him that you can. Because how else are things going to be accomplished in this selfish world?

“The sun was low, dusk approaching, and his stomach had shriveled to what felt like the size of a buckeye.”

“They led their animals north for a quarter of a mile, then mounted up and rode bareback at a fast walk, hunched in their coats against the cold air, down through a dry coulee and then up along a narrow divide that angled northwest. They stopped at the top of a hill, from which they could see, beneath a break in the clouds, a declining landscape of canyons and gullies and hoodoos. It looked like a place where the skin of the earth had come loose, torn away by some coarse hand to expose another world, the close edge of it marked by a stone spire.”

~Quotes from the book.
  • Kirkus: “Enger writes in an expansive style suitable to his sprawling subject.”
  • Publishers Weekly: “masterfully told Western reinvention of Homer’s Odyssey from Enger ” “Set against a backdrop of beauty and danger, this is the moving story of a man coming to terms with his past. In its narrative simplicity and emotional directness, it is reminiscent of John Ford’s classic The Searchers.”
  • Star Tribune: “Although some would call “The High Divide” a historical novel, it’s really a fine literary work that steps back in time a bit. It offers an engaging and affecting story with very real characters set in 19th-century Minnesota, Dakotas and eastern Montana.”

Author’s website: Lin Enger

Paperback edition.

#linenger #workmanpublishing

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