Saturday, 9 January 2021

Neverhome - Laird Hunt


Late last year I stumbled upon Laird Hunt and was blown away.  I began with The House in the Dark of the Woods, then went on to American Midnight, and now this, his first novel to be published this side of the Atlantic.

Neverhome is the first-person story of Constance Thompson, who goes to war because her husband Bartholomew isn't up to the task.  Disguised as a man, she becomes a legend - "Gallant Ash."  Her fellow troops even devise a song about her.  Her colonel wants her to become a sharp shooter.  But then things start to go wrong.  She ends up in a mental hospital, then becomes the love object of a local widow.  Ultimately, she walks home.  But this is Laird Hunt and there is no happy ending.

Because this is Laird Hunt the first-person voice becomes so persuasive that we are sucked into Constance's dreams, perhaps even her madness.  A comparatively short book takes on the scope of an epic journey.  I loved it.  I have to have more.

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