Saturday, September 25, 2010
The Wake of Forgivenss by, Bruce Machart~~Review
Description: On a moonless Texas night in 1895, an ambitious young landowner suffers the loss of “the only woman he’s ever been fond of” when his wife dies during childbirth with the couple’s fourth boy, Karel. From an early age Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horse races against his neighbors. But Karel is forever haunted by thoughts of the mother he never knew, by the bloodshot blame in his father’s eyes, and permanently marked by the yoke he and his brothers are forced to wear to plow the family fields. Confident only in the saddle, Karel is certain that the horse “wants the whip the same way he wants his pop’s strap . . . the closest he ever gets to his father’s touch.” In the winter of 1910, Karel rides in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his father’s fortune, his brother’s futures, and his own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and to salvage the tattered fabric of his family.
Beautifully and lyrically written but very dark. I had trouble getting into this book at first because it was dark and depressing but the writing was so beautiful that I kept reading and I’m glad I did. In the beginning I didn’t think I’d feel compassion or empathy for anyone in this book but that changed as the book progressed.
Vaclav Skala and his boys are alone since the death of his wife when she gave birth to Karel. People say Vaclav was a good man when he was with his wife but we don’t see that man we see a cruel man without feeling who uses his sons as horses to plow his fields.
The story skips around in time from 1895-1924 at first this was a bit jarring but after awhile you come to understand the flow the author was trying to convey.
I don’t want to give too much of this story away because this is a book you need to “feel” as it unfolds. It is a story of family, abuse, loneliness and lastly forgiveness. It is beautiful and haunting, dark and lyrical and worth reading. This may not have been a book I would have picked up but thanks to B&N First Look I read it and am glad I did. I would say to those who may think this isn’t their cup of tea to go ahead and give it a try the prose will grab you and the characters will stay with you even if you don’t like them.
Thank-You B&N First Look for the opportunity to read this book