By Peter Geye
Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9781101946466, June 7, 2016, 320pp.
The Short of It:
One man escaping his past, another man revisiting it to find closure.
The Rest of It:
In the dead of winter, Gunflint, Minnesota is a harsh, unforgiving landscape of ice floes, waterfalls and treacherous rivers. For Harry Eide, the landscape calls to him and reminds him of a trip he took years ago with his son Gus. Harry leaves his sickbed and vanishes into the surrounding wilderness, forcing his son Gus to remember the first time Harry ran off into the wilderness thirty years earlier. That time, to escape a bad marriage.
The story alternates between two timelines, the past and the present as Gus remembers that trip he and his father took over thirty years ago and the impact that Harry’s disappearance has on the present day.
What a book.
There’s heartache and longing, family secrets and feuds. There’s a lot of manly stuff going on in the way of survival (low rations, an encounter with a bear, finding shelter) but even if that’s not your thing, you’ll find yourself being pulled in by this story that spans 60 or so years.
Geye has a way with words and he’s a master at pulling the reader in. His novels tend to be on the quiet side but this one has a little bit of action and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat for the last third of the book.
If Geye’s name sounds familiar, you may have read Safe from the Sea or The Lighthouse Road. Well, if you haven’t you must and if you have, then you need to pick up Wintering because it’s another solid read. I’m confident that Geye could write anything and I’d love it. I enjoy his writing that much.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
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