Customer Review

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More wonderment from Frazier., October 1, 2011
This review is from: Nightwoods: A Novel (Hardcover)
Luce is content to live her life as she now has it. She's a caretaker for an out of business bed and breakfast whose better days have come and gone. Luce is happy to live in isolation, socially as desolate as she can get. So attracted to the hermits creed is Luce that she has burned the boat that could take to town across the lake in just under half an hour. By road that closest town is an hour away. No matter, Luce is happy. But this happy existence is doomed.

So opens Charles Frazier's third novel Nightwoods. Nightwoods is different in several ways from his previous novels: Cold Mountain and then Thirteen Moons. First, Nightwoods is set in the 20th Century. More fundamentally, however, the current book is pared down and less affected by history. The Civil War was the background for Cold Mountain and the removal of the Cherokee from the Southern Appalachians was the core event in Thirteen Moons. Nightwoods is historically isolated in that respect, but that's okay. Nightwoods does fine in its time and place.

Luce's existence is set on it's ear when she learns that she must raise her sisters twins. The social worker merely shows up and that is, as they say, that. One boy and one girl! However, these children aren't the cute and cuddly type. These children are ruined, almost feral. They're neither interested in talking or interacting in any other way for that matter. They even avoid eye contact. That Luce must care for these children is even more interesting when we learn that she doesn't even like children.

The state shrink thinks they're weird. I mean, they make roosters disappear, set the house on fire and generally zone out.

Then there is Bud, a backward thug who is convinced the twins know where money is located. Luce has suspicions of her own regarding Bud but to say more might be a spoiler.

Frazier has created a very interesting character in Luce but then Frazier is great in this regard. Can anyone deny that Ruby is the most memorable character from Cold Mountain.

Nightwoods might be the best book of the year for but, but there is still three months left.

I highly recommend.

Peace to all.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Robert Busko
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: North Carolina

Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,457