From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bacon's beautifully wrought, precisely observed and haunting latest follows a New York family struggling to survive a suicide. When Laura King jumps from the window of her Upper East Side Manhattan apartment, she leaves her husband, Arthur, and her teenage children, Cam and Celia, in emotional limbo. Seeking solace and a change of scene, Arthur takes the children cross-country to his mother, Lucy's, home in Callendar, Wyo. With pitch-perfect command of distinctive voices, Bacon (There Is Room for You
; Last Geography
) divides the narrative between Arthur, Celia and Cam, and Lucy King, all of whom feel guilt and anger about Laura's suicide. A major plot strand relates to the issue of mineral and drilling rights under the ranch land and gives the novel its title: each of the Kings strike out in self-destructive ways, related and unrelated to proposed methane wells, leading to a shocking denouement. Bacon captures the stark Wyoming landscape and Western ethos, and the power of buried secrets. She masterfully portrays complex family relationships in the wake of irrevocable damage. (Feb.)
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Laura Kings suicideshe jumps from a windowunmoors her family from their New York life. When a second mother of their acquaintance jumps, Arthur King hastily moves his adolescent children, Cam and Celia, back to the Wyoming ranch where he grew up; there, he thinks, it will be easier to keep them safe. His tough-minded mother, Lucy, a retired schoolteacher, sees more clearly that her shattered son has brought his damage with him. In the rural West, the costs of hanging on to what you have are also rising; Lucy is surrounded by ranchers who have sold off the mineral rights to the land their animals graze. Bacons examination of Lauras legacy is densely particular and poeticCam is haunted by his mothers bedroom window, that "tranquil rectangle of blameless air"; Celia registers a runaway horse as a "streak of need"and yet we are never allowed to forget the harsh truths that drive her story forward: survival is never guaranteed, and fighting for it is optional.
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