My Blog

My Blog



June 29, 2013

NIGHTWOODS by Charles Frazier

NIGHTWOODS                                      3 STARS
by Charles Frazier





Charles Frazier, the acclaimed author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons, returns with a dazzling novel set in small-town North Carolina in the early 1960s. With his brilliant portrait of Luce, a young woman who inherits her murdered sister’s troubled twins, Frazier has created his most memorable heroine. Before the children, Luce was content with the reimbursements of the rich Appalachian landscape, choosing to live apart from the small community around her. But the coming of the children changes everything, cracking open her solitary life in difficult, hopeful, dangerous ways. In a lean, tight narrative, Nightwoods resonates with the timelessness of a great work of art.

“Impossible to shake.”—Entertainment Weekly

 The owner of a remote lodge in North Carolina has died.  Luce has been living there as caretaker. Luce is a very interesting character and a person all of her own.  As you get to know her in the book, she becomes even more interesting. She  is not only the caretaker of the lodge but now she is caretaker of her twin niece and nephew, Frank and Delores.  Their mother had been murdered by their father.  the children are more than a handful.  They won't talk.  They are always getting into trouble of one sort or another. Luce feels they have been abused.  While all this is going on, a cold blooded killer has just been found not guilty of murder.  Bud goes back to find Luce for the money from one of his robberies.  His wife had hidden it.  the author is very descriptive, just a little too descriptive for my taste..  He describes rural Appalachia in quite detail.

I thought I would really like the book since COLD MOUNTAIN was such a good read.  The problem I had with the book was that I got lost in the wording of the sentences.  The dialogues didn't seem to flow evenly.I didn't care for having to re-read some of it because it didn't click the first time.  Finally, the book did  open up and it became a good enough read.  I just thought I would like it more than I did. Hopefully there is a new book on the horizon that will awe all of us.  This is my own personal opinion,  Everyone should read it and conclude for themselves how they feel about it.  Everyone sees things differently.

I would give this book 3 STARS

I was given a complimentary copy of this book NIGHTWOODS by the author Charles Frazier for this unbiased review.

 A Letter from Author Charles Frazier

Lost in the woods. A dangerous phrase, but also with a resonance of folktale. Hansel and Gretel with their bread crumbs. Jack alone, roaming the lovely, dark, and deep southern mountains. So, young people and old people being lost in the woods has always been interesting to me for those reasons. And also because it happens all the time still. Back when I was a kid, eight or ten, my friends and I lived with a mountain in our backyards. We stayed off it in summer. Too hot and snaky. But in the cool seasons, we roamed freely. We carried BB guns in the fall and rode our sleds down old logging roads in winter. We often got lost. But we knew that downhill was the way out, the way home. When I grew up and went into bigger mountains, you couldn’t always be so sure. I remember being lost in Bolivia. Or let’s say that I grew increasingly uncertain whether I was still on the trail or not. That’s the point where you ought to sit down and drink some water and consult your maps and compass very carefully and calmly. I kept walking. At some point, it became a matter of rigging ropes to swing a heavy pack over a scary white watercourse. I ended up at a dropoff. Down far below, upper reaches of the Amazon basin stretched hazy green into the distance. Downhill did not at all seem like the way home.
You’ll just have to trust me that this has something to do with my new novel, but to go into it much would risk spoilers. I’ll just say that early on in the writing of Nightwoods, Luce and the children were meant to be fairly minor characters, but I kept finding myself coming back to them, wanting to know more about them until they became the heart of the story. Some of my wanting to focus on them was surely influenced by several cases of kids lost in the woods in areas where I’m typically jogging and mountain biking alone at least a hundred days a year. It’s part of my writing process, though I hardly ever think about work while I’m in the woods. But I do keep obsessive count of how many miles a day I go and how many words I write, lots of numbers on 3x5 note cards. All those days watching the micro changes of seasons can’t help but become part of the texture of what I write, and those lost kids, too.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

No comments: