Tag Archives: Literary Fiction

Review: Wintering

Wintering

Wintering
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.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies
By Lauren Groff
Riverhead Books, Hardcover, 9781594634475, September 2015, 400pp.

The Short of It:

Imperfect people joined together in marriage makes for some entertaining reading.

The Rest of It:

Lancelot is this gorgeous, Greek god of a guy. He marries his female equivalent, Mathilde and the two, although quite young, throw caution to the wind and create a happy marriage for themselves.

Or, do they?

This book has gotten a lot of attention! Mainly, due to President Obama naming it his favorite book of 2015.  But even without that endorsement, I can see why this book became popular with readers.

  • It’s well-written
  • Has a somewhat complex story structure to wrap your brain around
  • It has a lot of gratuitous sex
  • It contains Greek mythology references
  • It’s a page-turner
  • Flawed characters galore
  • It has a lot of gratuitous sex (oh, did I already say that?)

I don’t think the book has been optioned for a movie yet, but I can absolutely see that happening. The story is twisty and a bit deceptive and a little dark without being too dark. As a movie, I think it could be quite good.

My book club read and discussed it last week and there was a lot to discuss. Yeah, the sex came up quite a bit but the really big question we all had:

What makes a good marriage good?

Do love and trust come into it? Is it a good marriage if the end result is somewhat shallow in nature as long as both parties are happy with the end result?

We also spent a lot of time talking about the narrative structure. The story is told in two halves, one being Fates and the other being Furies.  As interesting as these halves were, some members of the group felt manipulated by this structure.

Overall, I found it to be a fun book to discuss but a bit tedious with all the sex scenes. Well-written, but a little slow in the middle because of the repetitive nature of some of the content but overall, very entertaining.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.