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The time is 1923, the place a family-owned mill, and the people a motley collection made up of a manager from Pennsylvania, his brother the constable, poor white and black loggers, three women, Sicilians, and polyglot Cajuns. Byron, the constable, a golden boy before the war, eldest son and heir apparent to a timber fortune, returned from France a damaged man, no longer interested in family or future. He drifted away from home and lost contact. When the novel begins, he has been found in this Louisiana backwater and his brother, Randolph, is dispatched to manage the family mill until the cypress forest is cleared and to bring Byron home. What happens to them in this hermetically sealed redoubt is a story of intense and forgiving brotherly love, as Randolph struggles to reclaim Byron and to maintain decency against formidable odds. They must deal with the Sicilians who own the gambling, liquor and women and will do anything to hang onto this franchise; the loggers who work and fight in equal part; and each other, not as the boys they were, but as the men they are.
You might learn more about old-time logging than you ever wanted to know, but the story is as compelling as Cold Mountain or All the Pretty Horses and just as well written. --Valerie Ryan
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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. In his critically acclaimed new novel, Tim Gautreaux fashions a classic and unforgettable tale of two brothers struggling in a hostile world.In a lumber camp in the Louisiana cypress forest, a world of mud and stifling heat where men labor under back-breaking conditions, the Aldridge brothers try to repair a broken bond. Randolph Aldridge is the mills manager, sent by his fatherthe mill ownerto reform both the damaged mill and his damaged older brother. Byron Aldridge is the mill's lawman, a shell-shocked World War I veteran given to stunned silences and sudden explosions of violence that make him a mystery to Randolph and a danger to himself. Deep in the swamp, in this place of water moccasins, whiskey, and wild card games, these brothers become embroiled in a lethal feud with a powerful gangster. In a tale full of raw emotion as supple as a saw blade, The Clearing is a mesmerizing journey into the trials that define mens souls. Palpably atmospheric, with a remarkable range of characters and emotions, this novel displays more powerfully than ever before Gautreaux's masterful understanding of time, place, and human nature. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9781400030538
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