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The Road Home

Harrison, Jim

Published by Atlantic Monthly Press, 1998
ISBN 10: 0871137240 / ISBN 13: 9780871137241
/ Condition: Very Good / Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details


Title: The Road Home

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

Description:

Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 446 p. Audience: General/trade. The continuing story of Dalva and her family and friends. A novel rich with poetic persuasion. Very good in very good dust jacket. Solid binding with straight spine. DJ in brodart cover. First edition. First Edition, First Print. Bookseller Inventory # Alibris.0000015

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Synopsis: Jim Harrison is one of this country's most acclaimed writers, and in "The Road Home," his first full-length novel since "Dalva" 10 years ago, he delivers a true American epic. "The Road Home" continues the story of his captivating heroine Dalva and her peculiar and remarkable family. It encompasses the voices of Dalva's grandfather John Northridge, the austere, hard-living half-Sioux patriarch; Naomi, the widow of his favorite son and namesake; Paul, the first Northridge son, who lived in the shadow of his brother; and Nelse, the son taken from Dalva at birth, who now has returned to find her. It is a family history drenched in suffering and joy, imbued with fierce independence and love, rooted in the Nebraska soil, and intertwined with the destiny of whites and Native Americans.

Review: With his 1988 novel, Dalva, Jim Harrison commenced an epic of the American Midwest--or more specifically, the Nebraska sandhills. In The Road Home his eponymous heroine returns in search of the son she abandoned 30 years before, only to find herself more deeply enmeshed than ever in the coils of the family romance. (Quite literally, by the way: the father of Dalva's son was her half-brother.) Now, a decade later, Harrison continues her story in The Road Home. Ranging over an entire century, this second installment encompasses both Dalva's ancestry and her valedictory impulses in the face of death, circa 1987.

As he did in the earlier book, the author passes the narrative baton from one character to another. There are five highly individual voices at work, including not only Dalva's own but that of her grandfather, mother, and son. This makes for a dense, Rashomon-like structure, in which events are revisited by one generation after another and truth is a relative thing--in every sense of the word. Harrison leavens this spiraling saga with splendid passages about everything from the Lakota Sioux to bird hunting, from the complexities of art to the simplicities of the wandering life: "There's a sweet, vaguely scary feeling in disappearance," notes Dalva's son, Nelse. And as always, the author can convey both the surprising beauty of a landscape and an almost suffocating sense of its abundance. "It is neither more nor less endurable in May," says Dalva of the lilac-encircled family cemetery, "when it is enshrouded by the heavy-scented purple and white flowers, a smell that on warm evenings is so dense as to be almost visible.... The sound of the crickets arrived one by one until they were a chorus, and if you walked down the gravel road toward the Niobrara the frogs from the lower, marshy areas were so loud as to be barely endurable." --Bob Brandeis

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