Alyson Hagy's Reviews > I Curse the River of Time

I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson
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's review
Aug 31, 2010

really liked it
Read from August 04 to 31, 2010

I am a great admirer of Petterson's fiction, and this novel deepened my admiration in important ways. Petterson is a subtle chronicler of his characters and the complicated way those characters bury and unearth their deepest feelings. For me, OUT STEALING HORSES was a novel about unearthed memory and feeling. There is great joy in that novel. There are also stinging recollections of loss. RIVER stings, too. And it is particularly strong in its evocation of the relationship between a dying middle-aged mother and her self-absorbed thirty-something son. Who among us has not wished that she was wiser in her dealings with a struggling parent?

Petterson is in the business of exploring the inner dramas of our lives. So perhaps this novel won't be for everyone, but I read it quickly and I was swept along by its sorrows and insights. The book feels like a companion piece to Petterson's TO SIBERIA to me. Richly imagined. Mournfully told. Petterson remains high on the list of contemporary writers for me.

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