Thanks to Barnes & Nobles's First Look Book Club for letting me review this one.
About the Book
One moonless night in February 1895, a young landowner in Texas cow country loses his wife in childbirth. In the lonely years that follow, his new son, his fourth, grows to become a skillful, aggressive jockey and his father, with equal fervor, stakes his land and fortunes on his success. In 1910, father and son, distant, yet strangely joined in this venture, race to a point of no return for the entire family. What happens to the son beyond that juncture will not reconfigure his past, but it will burnish him into unexpected maturity. (Hand-selling tip: Of this first novel, one early reader wrote, "If Evan S. Connell, William Faulkner, and Norman Maclean had been born as one person, he might possess the extraordinary gifts of Bruce Machart.")
This one took me a while to get into it. The writing was very "slow". Since I read this as part of a book group I didn't want to get to far ahead. So I'd read and get into the story, then when I got to the stopping point I found I had a hard time getting back into it. Had I read it straight through without stopping I probably would have liked it much more.
I loved how the author gave everything a feeling. The landscape, the animals, everything was described to have a sens of feeling. It was a nice change, but I think it became a little to much, as it just seemed to drag the story down some.
I didn't really get to connect with any of the characters. In fact there were some places in the book where I was confused as to who was talking, who was doing what, what was being done to who. I was just so lost at some points that it really frustrated me.
The story, if you take out the "extra" was pretty good. And it was an endeering story about lost love, in many forms, and how that can affect a person their whole life. The relationships between the characters was sad, and that sad feeling was the tone of the entire book. Everything was just sad.
I think if I had sat with this and read it straight through without taking breaks I would have liked it more. But as I said each time I picked it up I had to "get back into the story" and I think that took so much away from it for me.
The Wake of Forgiveness