IdahoBook - 2017
From the critics
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p. 253 Music "That original song hovers over her, barely upheld. But breaking through these terrible chords, the high intervals of the right hand trip over the rocks in streams, recover themselves, and struggle, running in a breathless scale, up."
p. 259 "Downstairs , her father practices the piano. The earthquake chords, the pedal tones, the fingertips, again. The words her father never gets to because his giant hands can't make it there. His hands are climbing up a mountain in the music. They are dragging his stumbling voice along, over the boulders loose in the dirt. His hands are slipping down, then reaching up, pulling at the branches and the long, tough weeds."
p. 144 Disgust "Such a request, when May had known already to keep it secret, aged her a little. She became aware of somethng deep inside of herself, trapped underneath her ordinary love, stale and pungent and faintly sweet and quickly disappearing, like the opening of a forgotten jar inside of which a pet grasshopper has days ago died among its wilted grasses. Disgust: It is a feeling older than she is."
p. 196 "Ann feels relief, yes, but she is also shocked. She knows from the casual gestures, from the simplicity of his smile, the absence of pain, that she has inherited his family wholly now, that nothing can bring them back. For the first time ever, she knows for certain that they live only in her."
p. 64 cont'd " rightful - border, and those trees and rocks become something other than themselves, a history that is the history of the people who claim them; the dark trees are exclusive, conspiratorial....this land they're all so proud of is worthless. Steep, parched, dusty, and susceptible to fire in the summers, and the summers a reprieve from the winters that define these mountains."
p. 116 "Outside the coyotes' howls bore tunnels through the frozen silence. The ravens in the trees anticipate the spring, when they will nudge their weakest from their nests, this act already in their hearts as if already committed. The garter snakes, deep in the ground, hibernate alert. Bodies cold, unmoving; minds twitching, hot. So many secret, coiled wills, a million centers spiraling out, colliding into a clap of silence that is this very moment in the house, this beautiful oblivion in which they love each other."
"...flies rise again and buzz and bounce...as the dense yellow light through the widow penetrates the fractured panels of their wings and warms them in these moments when everything is safe." p. 13
p. 22 "Ann imagined the old spotted horses chomping their hay nearby. The hornets in the corners buzzed, and outside somewhere, under the clothesline where rose-colored shirts were starched with sunshine, two girls were filling miniature blue teacups with sand."
p. 25 "...she felt that those three forgotten years in Idaho had settled deep inside of her and unsettled all those beautiful years that followed. Idaho was the mine and England the unsteady surface of her life."
p. 64 "Acres and acres of land, and yet entire lives are spent within a twenty-foot radius around some trailer. But ownership reaches out from the filthy beds, where bodies are sleeping in the flickers of afternoon TV; it reaches out, a sweeping arm, across every tree and rock contained within its legal - and nevertheless
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