Carol's Reviews > The Wake of Forgiveness

The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart
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's review
Aug 23, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, westerns
Read in February, 2011

Wake of Forgiveness

This was a Goodreads Giveaway book that just reached me recently. It was amazing writing most of the time. Very "poetic, lyrical" were often used in some of the reviews. I found it great at first, but distracting at times, as if the author was given an assignment to use all the metaphors and similes he could! However, I got used to that and the entire book gave me much to think about.

The one part I found unusual was Karel's obsessive desire to know his mother, and his experiences of thinking, or imagining, he had seen her do such and such. I've thought and read about children who lose their mothers early in life, but I've never thought about this from the point of view of a baby whose mother died at birth! Any thoughts from other readers on this topic?

The book was filled with vivid descriptions, often gruesome and depressing, but there were touches of tenderness that made me sit up and take notice. My one complaint is that it moves back and forth in time, that I found a bit hard to follow. But by the time I finished, I realized that Machart had reasons to do this. I wonder if reading it chronologically would have made a difference. He does have the chapters marked by years, so this helped. He skips a lot of years, though, and he introduces characters that I want to know better, especially Karel's wife! I loved the dialogue parts - wish he had used more of that.

When I read the last few pages, it was one of those books that I wanted to turn to the first page and start again, to see what I had missed along the way! Not in understanding, so much, but to enjoy the language more. I'm afraid I rush through books too fast to see what happens.

I am not usually a fan of gruesome or Westerns, so why did this get a rating of 4 from me? (I'm stingy with 5s!) Because of the writing, and I found it to be far different from most books I normally read. I will be looking for more books by Bruce Machart.

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