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3.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,777 ratings  ·  485 reviews
In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives unfold. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life--her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Random House
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,777 ratings  ·  485 reviews

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Angela M
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t captivated by The Tiger's Wife so I almost wasn’t going to read this. But I kept reading so much about it that my interest was piqued, and I have to say that I was very captivated by this western story. There are two narratives which for most of the novel felt very disconnected, but when they did, it was an amazing thing. Lurie, a Middle Eastern immigrant is brought to Missouri by his father in 1856. When his father dies, Lurie is sold to the Coachman who picks up the dead and robs gra ...more

4.5 Stars

It’s been around eight years since I read Téa Obreht’s debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, but the fact that I loved the beautiful writing and the story had been enough incentive for me to request this second novel, Inland. I’m so glad that I did.

This story has a duel narrative, which kept me on my toes, and wanders over time, over centuries, and around the world in one of the narratives. Over the course of a day in another narrative, traveling through time using memories
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Homeless and orphaned at age six, Lurie survived by working with "the Coachman" and sleeping in his stable. He helped collect "...lodgers who'd passed in their sleep, or had their throats cut by bunkmates." Grave robbing was included. Lurie developed a hunger. "A hunger that could not be satisfied...the want grew and grew." Apprehended by the law, he was sent away with other ruffians to the midwest. Securing a job at a mercantile and working with co-workers Donovan and Hobb Mattie, small robberi ...more
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 stars, rounded down

I picked this purely because I thought it took place in Arizona and I’ve always wanted to read a historical novel from the Arizona Territory days. I have not read Obreht’s prior book.

This one just never grabbed me. Told from two POVs, Lurie, a wanted man from Missouri who becomes a cameleer, and Nora, a frontier woman awaiting the return of her husband and older sons, it was choppy and stilted. Both are haunted by ghosts. In Laurie’s case, they literally make demands of h
Diane S ☔
DNF at 30%. It may be my reading mood, but I've picked this up several times, and I am not connecting with the story nor the characters. The story was just striking me as disjointed.
Ron Charles
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Totally Hip Video Book Review of “Inland”:
Highly recommended - full review here:
Aug 15, 2019 added it
Shelves: abandoned
Unfortunately, this is going in the DNF pile. I am just not connecting with this at all. There are parts of this that I just marvel at - it is written so beautifully. The rest I'm left scratching my head. I never read the author's heralded debut, but I was anxious to read this as the summary sounded different and interesting. Plus, THAT COVER!!

Sadly, I'm far enough in and I can tell it's not going to get any better (based on my personal preference). It's far too slow (nothing wrong with that, j
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Téa Obreht burst onto the literary scene in 2011 with her debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Orange Prize. I thought it a remarkable first novel and have been eagerly (and impatiently) waiting for her follow-up. I never expected that the follow-up would be a historical novel of the American West and I imagine other readers of The Tiger’s Wife might share that surprise. No worry, her reimagined vision of the western (and a little-known piece of history ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“We were bound up, you and I…Though it break our hearts, we had as little choice then as we have now.”

This is one of those books that I’ve been dreading writing the review for because nothing I say can really convey what makes it so great.  I like literary fiction, but it’s rare that I will pick up anything that’s straight up literature.  This particular book interested me for two reasons: the historical, western context, and the promise of supernatural elements.

Inland doesn’t disappoint on eith
Joy D
Deeply imagined historical fiction based on an unusual episode in the history of Arizona Territory in the mid-to-late 1800s. Obreht threads together two seemingly disparate stories: Lurie, a Turkish immigrant whose alliances have led to his status as a wanted man, and Nora, a mother toiling in a rugged landscape to care for her family in a drought while her husband searches for water. These two storylines eventually merge in a satisfying way. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, as I ...more
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, 2019
You will argue with me, as your husband has, that you were all getting along just fine without me. Raising up your corn and wheat and losing your children to heatstroke. But before me, there was no aguaje where a traveler could water his horses. Before me there was no stage route, no postmaster, no sheriff, no stock association. There was nobody in Flagstaff gave a good goddamn about bringing the law to this place. People rustling cattle and people falling down cliffs and calling both an acciden
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I am so glad that i had the chance to read this early and review it. As the sophomore attempt, and much awaited at that, from Obreht, much was expected after the tremendous success of the debut novel. Inland was an interesting story told from two main perspectives, Nora Lark who is a homeowner in an Arizona town during a drought, awaiting her husband's water-seeking return. The alternate story is from the perspective of a pair of camel-riding outlaws. Both perspectives were fascina ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: release-2019
4 ★ Tea Obreht’s new book is fantastic and highly imaginative! Inland is historical fiction with a big dose of magical realism, that weaves together two narratives.
•One is of Nora Lark. A frontierswoman, wife and mother in Arizona, who is currently missing her husband who’d gone to town for water, and two eldest sons who left after a fight. Her youngest son insists he’s seen a terrible beast outside, while Nora seeks advice and is comforted by the ghost of their long-passed daughter, Evelyn. No
Jamie Burgess
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just spent two days reading Inland basically without coming up for air. It is beautiful on the sentence-level and I wish I spent more time with each sentence, but the truth is the story was so good that I was compelled to rush along to find out what happened. It was one of those where I was resenting everyone and thing in my day that took me out of the world of the book. The first novel I’ve read like that in a while. I am much more for western literature than I am for the actual West, it turn ...more
Karen Kay
I received this from for a review.

In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives collide. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life.

This is one of my fav genres but this was a struggle to read! I never connected with any of the characters and the story seemed to meander over here and then over there.

Jessica Woodbury
4.5 stars. And honestly only 4.5 stars because I would occasionally find myself wishing Lurie would hurry it up so I could get back to Nora and I would need to go back and read it again with a little less impatience to more accurately judge the Lurie sections.

There was not much of a reason for me to power through this book. I didn't read Obreht's previous novel. I do not have any particular affection for Westerns. I prefer faster reads with a quick pace on audio. It was, honestly, only because I
Kasa Cotugno
Eight years ago Tea Obreht burst upon the literary scene with her truly original fable-like tale, The Tiger's Wife. With so much attention paid to her debut novel, it would not be unreasonable to fear that she experiences the sophomore curse, having what follows not measure up. But in this case, she succeeds, I think primarily because she took her time and didn't rush into a subsequent publication immediately. Here we find a totally different part of the world, drought-ridden Arizona Territory i ...more
Mellie Antoinette
Not gonna lie - I read the last 150 pages of this western cluster*uck of a novel in one sitting. Read the first 250 pages in 15 sittings...because it’s ultimately a structured mess!

It’s like a good train wreck - you get to the end thinking, OMG WTF did I just read? Sure, the journey’s not so great (half the story is told to a camel!! Why does this make me feel like the camel?!?!) But, you cross the river, the sun comes out and suddenly you get it without really getting it...because it’s hard to
Taylor Caitlin
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Therefore, I must honestly admit that I am adding it to my “Did Not Finish” list at 40%. This I was my first Tea Obreht book, and I think my hopes were set rather high... I wasn’t entirely sure that this book would be my cup of tea from the description, but since I live in Arizona and like historical fiction (also there was supposed to be a hint of magic...) I applied for it anyway and was approved. At 40% I am still not relating ...more
Melissa Dee
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I approach a sophomore novel by a beloved author with excitement and trepidation. Téa Obrecht’s debut novel, “The Tiger’s Wife,” has an honored place on my shelf of novels that I recommend over and over again. Obrecht’s fable telling talents are back in action in “Inland,” an imaginative story that rambles across the arid landscape of the American West. Inland’s characters are rich and complicated. The first is a boy who arrives in America from the Levant, and rides with gangs of outlaws and exp ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tea Obreht burst on the literary stage in 2011 with her magnificent novel, The Tiger’s Wife. She was hailed by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty and included in the National Book Foundation’s list of 5 Under 35. Fans, including me, eagerly waited for her next book.

Eight years later, Obreht’s second book is out, and the wait was worth it. Inland is a sweeping work of literary fiction set in the American Wild West. Lyrical and beautifully written, Inlan
Mystical--ghosts, The Western landscape, water... This book is a luminous historical tale of connections and reflective of our contemporary world.

My feature-length review:
On The Realistically Magical Storytelling & Word-Singing Of Téa Obreht

I’ve recently been reading everything I can find by Téa Obreht. Her stories are vivid and heady with realistic insight into death and grief while simultaneously invoking power from benevolent ghosts. She also write
Aug 08, 2019 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
DNF @ 20%

Gave this a fair shot I think but sadly it was not for me. Seems like everyone else has loved it though!
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
DNF. I loved The Tiger’s Wife, and have tried to like Inland, but at almost half-way through I am struggling to connect to any of the characters, and to find the thread of the two stories which are meant to come together. The writing, in places, is luminous and full of poetic beauty, and then it gets bogged down in wordiness. Some have described this as a thriller, but I have found it dull and meandering and have finally given up – two stars, which feels both generous and not nearly enough for a ...more
Donna Davis
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history lovers that can access high-level vocabulary.
This memorable novel is my introduction to Tea Obreht, and I read it free and early, thanks to Net Galley and Random House. The combination of word smithery and whimsy creates the purest literary magic, and I recommend it to anyone that has a high vocabulary level and stamina. It is for sale now.

The tale takes place just after the American Civil War, and the narrative is divided between two characters, Lurie and Nora. Lurie begins his life in Arkansas; he is orphaned early and the man that take
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

Inland is, on the face of it, a historical Western novel set in an arid, drought ridden landscape which Obreht breathtakingly evokes on every page. Two narrative threads tell the stories of Nora - endlessly awaiting the return of her husband and sons - and Lurie - remembering his adventurous camelteering days. I absolutely loved the way their lives eventually connected and hadn't figured it out in advance even though, with hindsight, perhaps
Ari Levine
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Obreht is subverting the expectations of those of us who loved _The Tiger's Wife_ by delivering a poetic and supernatural Western that intertwines two stories that intersect uncannily, and creating a seamlessly-imagined fictional world. We first follow Lurie, a wanted criminal ("and hirsute Levantine") who fled westward from Texas with Camel Corps in the 1850s, along with a group of Muslim camel-drivers from the Ottoman Empire.

But most of the novel's pages are filled with close observations of o
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inland is a western, but a new and exciting kind (to me, anyway). Think News of the World or The Son, with non-stereotypical characters, exquisitely descriptive settings, and almost fantasy-like plot lines. Obreht writes beautiful sentences that you will marvel at, but her writing never fails to tell a terrific story.

In the midst of a drought in the Arizona Territories in 1893, we meet Nora, an independent frontierswoman, and Lurie, a former outlaw. Nora is waiting for her husband and sons to
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for open and honest review

this book has been written well but it just isn't my style and really struggled with the book as couldn't relate to the characters. this is subjective review but its just how I feel.
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IBIS Read and Review: Inland by Tea Obreht 4 22 Aug 29, 2019 05:34AM  
Play Book Tag: Inland by Téa Obreht - 4 stars 1 30 Apr 19, 2019 06:53PM  

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Téa Obreht was born in 1985 in the former Yugoslavia, and spent her childhood in Cyprus and Egypt before eventually immigrating to the United States in 1997. Her writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Zoetrope: All-Story, The New York Times, and The Guardian, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading. Her ...more
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“...the older she grew the more she came to recognize falsehood as the preservative that allowed the world to maintain its shape.” 0 likes
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