The Wake of Forgiveness
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 poin...more
Set in Texas at the dawn of the 20th century, the novel focuses on ...more
It's a traditionally male story about a family of brothers in the American west, but with a twist: everything that goes right or wrong has ultimately to do with women, mostly with a woman not getting her due or being given a ...more
Wonderfully layered out in some of the most eloquent words strung together in a sentence.
This guy can really write, literally unheard of by the reading population. A must read this novel deserves immediate attention by the populace, the author has crafted a story that was such a joy to read captivating, deep sense of meaning and place.
I am thinking along the lines of Train Dreams by Denis Johnson an ...more
This book took me much longer to read than most books, and I cannot quite put my finger on why. What I do know is that Machart is a very talented writer whose prose often read like stark and lyrical poetry and sometimes reach the quality of genius. Sounds dramatic, I know, but as a writer myself I was impressed - and envious - of his talent with the written word.
Machart's characters are com ...more
It’s a family story without a lot of direct female presence but the ramifications of a woman’s role are key to the story. The story begins in 1895 in what the author thought ...more
Take a look at that cover. Isn't it beautiful? It's smart too. Everyone loves a horse. It is not a gender specific symbol. The photo is powerful so the consumer/reader can expect drama but it isn't overwhelmingly masculine or th ...more
Every once in a great while you come across a book that does all the things you want a book to do. Prose so sumptuous you hold your breath through whole sections because breathing - even breathing - would disrupt the amazing way a thought is unfolding. A pl ...more
This harsh, violent portrayal of farm life in rural 1910 Texas is an intense read and definitely not for the faint of heart. Achingly desolate, much like the landscape, the story of the Skala family begins with a tragedy and ends with a brother's redemption. The Wake of Forgiveness, a debut novel by Bruce Machart will leave you feeling hopeful, an emotion nonexistent throughout this gripping drama.
Instead, Vaclav treats Karel and his brothers ...more
There is some good solid writing in this. Lots and lots of good solid writing. In fact, there is so much solid writing that I was overwhelmed by it. There were moments when I was begging for plain, simple sentences and the only time I got it was in dialog. The rest of the time I was beaten over the head with wordy sentences stretching an average of 3 lines. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of flowery languag ...more
I absolutely loved Bruce Machart's The Wake of Forgiveness. It's not a book I would have normally picked up off the shelf or taken home from the store, as at first glance it seems like it would just be a western and they just aren't my thing normally, but I'm so very glad that I got the opportunity to read it. Bruce's writing is wonderfully descriptive and he is fantastic at creating mo ...more
Fire was one of so many things that could render a man helpless, and now, as Karel reached the corral fence and circled around to the gate, his brothers' eyes unblinking and tepid and fixed on him, he reckoned that family was another. A man couldn't any more choose which one he was born into than he could will it to stay together when so many things abraded and raveled the fibers that were meant to keep it bound. Try to hold it all together with force, and with a harness and a hard hand the way...more
The blood had come hard from her, so much of it that, when Vaclav Skala awoke in wet bed linens to find her curled up against him on her side, moaning and glazed with sweat, rosary beads twisted around her clenched fingers, he smiled at the thought th...more
The story begins in the late 1800's and continues over a span of 29 years. The lawlessness, cruelty and hardship, that the author describes is palpable and his prose so powerful that it seemed to reach out and suck me into it, making me aware of the h ...more
The story begins with Karel’s birth and at the same time the death of his mother, Klara. Hi ...more
I just found out that this is Bruce Machart’s first novel. I think that words are his craft. The opening pages of the novel were beautifully written, I would not change anything, not one word. But there are some recommendations that I want to make as a reader. First of all, I do not like switching back and forth in time. One time or two times are easy to deal with but this book ...more