Plot: Bragg's novel is a rich historical family epic with a vividly portrayed sense of place. With exceptional poise and candor, the author recreates an era through a focus on a character's deeply felt convictions and long adhered-to traditions in the face of inevitable change.
Prose: This story is told through prose that is raw, rich, and visceral. Descriptions of the landscape at the novel's heart, as well as of the timeless duties and seasonal uncertainties of farm life, are exceptionally well told. Emotion permeates this quiet, yet deeply impactful work or fiction.
Originality: As a chronicle of a family and its ghosts, Bragg's novel stands apart from other works of literary historical fiction. Notably, the work captures a highly particular place with such poignancy and power, that readers will feel as if they have walked its fields themselves.
Character Development: Primarily through Roland Tuttle's reflections on the past, readers will come to know both his close and distant relatives. Perceptive and incisive descriptions of their beliefs, movements, and others' impressions of them, allow these characters to haunt the present. Yet it's the protagonist's stoicism in the face of heartbreak and profound personal loss, that will most powerfully resonate with readers.
Date Submitted: August 31, 2019