Rebecca's Reviews > Battleborn

Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
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May 13, 12

Read from April 22 to May 13, 2012

By the last story of the book, I had forgotten the first story. The way the book started - with her personal connection to Helter Skelter - ended up as easy bait for the real story, about a place.

I have never been to Nevada. I cannot say that this book makes me want to go there. But in reading Battleborn, you felt close to the state's ethos, its peculiarity. I love feeling this way when I read about Kentucky, especially the fantastic Blood Horses by John Jeremiah Sullivan, how familiar my home was in reading that book. I wonder if Nevadans feel the same capture-the-essence about Watkins' work. There are some outliers in the batch, no question, but I think her writing has a sting that is magical to read, even for those of us who know nothing of her home.
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