Emily Ruskovich delivers a stunning tale of crime and punishment, marriage, guilt, and redemption in her novel Idaho.
Wade and Jenny divorced after a horrific day on the mountain. Ann, his new wife, tries to unravel the mystery of that day; yet, fearing his pain, she can't bring herself to ask her husband. As the years pass, and Wade slips into early dementia, Ann sees her chance for answers disappearing along with Wade's compromised mind.
Lush with Ann's excavation of the imagined inner lives of Wade, Jenny, and their children, and the complex web of their actions, motivations, repercussions, and fallout, Idaho is a devastating, chilling, and utterly gorgeous read. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A stunning debut novel about love and forgiveness, about the violence of memory and the equal violence of its loss--from O. Henry Prize-winning author Emily Ruskovich
Finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award
Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband's memory fading, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to Wade's first wife, Jenny, and to their daughters. In a story written in exquisite prose and told from multiple perspectives--including Ann, Wade, and Jenny, now in prison--we gradually learn of the mysterious and shocking act that fractured Wade and Jenny's lives, of the love and compassion that brought Ann and Wade together, and of the memories that reverberate through the lives of every character in Idaho.
In a wild emotional and physical landscape, Wade's past becomes the center of Ann's imagination, as Ann becomes determined to understand the family she never knew--and to take responsibility for them, reassembling their lives, and her own.
Praise for Idaho
"You know you're in masterly hands here. Emily] Ruskovich's language is itself a consolation, as she subtly posits the troubling thought that only decency can save us. . . . Ruskovich's novel will remind many readers of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping. . . . A] wrenching and beautiful book."--The New York Times Book Review
"Sensuous, exquisitely crafted."--The Wall Street Journal
"The first thing you should know about Idaho, the shatteringly original debut by O. Henry Prize winner Emily Ruskovich, is that it upturns everything you think you know about story. . . . You could read Idaho just for the sheer beauty of the prose, the expert way Ruskovich makes everything strange and yet absolutely familiar."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Mesmerizing . . . an] eerie story about what the heart is capable of fathoming and what the hand is capable of executing."--Marie Claire
"Idaho is a wonderful debut. Ruskovich knows how to build a page-turner from the opening paragraph."--Ft. WorthStar-Telegram
"Ruskovich's debut is haunting, a portrait of an unusual family and a state that becomes a foreboding figure in her vivid depiction."--The Huffington Post