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So Brave, Young, and Handsomeby Leif Enger
Synopses & Reviews
On a moonless Texas night in 1895, an ambitious young landowner suffers the loss of the only woman hes ever been fond of” when his wife dies during childbirth with the couples fourth boy, Karel. From an early age Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors. But Karel is forever haunted by thoughts of the mother he never knew, by the bloodshot blame in his fathers eyes, and permanently marked by the yoke he and his brothers are forced to wear to plow the family fields. Confident only in the saddle, Karel is certain that the horse wants the whip the same way he wants his pops strap . . . the closest he ever gets to his fathers touch.” In the winter of 1910, Karel rides in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his fathers fortune, his brothers futures, and his own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and to salvage the tattered fabric of his family.
Reminiscent of Kent Harufs portrayals of hope amidst human heartbreak and Cormac McCarthys finely hewn evocations of the American Southwest, Bruce Macharts striking debut is as well wrought as it is riveting. It compels us to consider the inescapable connections between sons and their mothers, between landscape and family, and between remembrance and redemption.
In this stunning successor to his bestseller "Peace Like a River," Enger pens a rugged and nimble story about an aging train robber on a quest to reconcile the claims of love and judgment on his life, and the failed writer who goes with him.
Bruce Machart tells an epic story of a Texas family at the turn of the twentieth century: a family of men led by a father, emotionally crippled following the death of his wife while in childbirth with their fourth boy, Karel. From an early age, Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors, culminating in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his fathers fortune, his brothers futures, and his own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and salvage the tattered fabric of his family.
With rich descriptive language and a cadence as deliberate and determined as the people and horses of the story, The Wake of Forgiveness compels us to consider the inescapable connections between sons and their mothers, between landscape and family, and between remembrance and redemption.
Now in paperback, the new novel by Leif Enger, author of the million-copy best seller, Peace Like a River, is a lively, big-hearted redemption tale; an unforgettable, picaresque Western yarn.
In 1915 Minnesota, writer Monte Becket has lost his sense of purpose. His only success long behind him, Monte lives simply with his wife and son until he befriends outlaw Glendon Hale. Plagued by guilt over abandoning his wife two decades ago, Glendon aims to go back West on a quest for absolution. As the modern age marches swiftly forward, Monte agrees to travel into Glendons past, leaving behind his own family for a journey that will test the depth of his loyalties and morals, and the strength of his resolve. As they flee the relentless ex-Pinkerton whos been hunting Glendon for years, Monte falls ever further from his family and the law, to be tempered by a fiery adventure from which he may never get home.
With its smooth mix of romanticism and gritty reality, So Brave, Young, and Handsome examines one ordinary mans determination as he risks everything in order to understand what its all worth, and follows an unlikely dream in the hope it will lead him back home.
About the Author
BRUCE MACHART is the author of The Wake of Forgiveness. His fiction has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, Story, One Story and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in Best Stories of the American West. A graduate of the MFA program at Ohio State University, he currently lives and teaches in Houston.
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