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3.45  ·  Rating details ·  8,630 ratings  ·  1,759 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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Robert Blumenthal I actually think it was more than this. I felt that she was imagining many possible futures in a universal spiritual sense. It was almost like a quant…moreI actually think it was more than this. I felt that she was imagining many possible futures in a universal spiritual sense. It was almost like a quantum physics multiple universe sort of thing. I found it to be quite lovely and moving.(less)
Jeanne I read 100 pages of Inland and put it down which I rarely do -

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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,630 ratings  ·  1,759 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
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

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
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ghost whispers and camel corps

I expected to like it more than I did, still an okay read. My favorite characters were a couple of camels.
Julie Christine
I feel sorry for the next book I pick up. When I love a read as much as Inland, the subsequent story or two usually pales unfairly in the afterglow.

This is a work of historical fiction, a panoramic western in the great tradition of Cather, McCarthy and Portis, but author Téa Obreht is too skilled a writer to be confined by expectations and conventions of genre. She writes with such urgency and empathy, with wonder for her story and compassion for her characters, that this reader was simply swep
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.
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
Ron Charles
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Totally Hip Video Book Review of “Inland”: ...more
Aug 15, 2019 marked it as dnf
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
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
Time doesn't change,
nor do times.
Only things inside time change,
Things you will believe, and things you won't. ~ James Galvin, "Belief"
There are so many elements in this novel that I enjoyed:

- interesting characters;
- unbelievable plot;
- gripping prose;
- picturesque atmosphere.
- the noire factor.
- part of the Arizona and New Mexiko history
- unique voice of the author.

Two main characters:

Around 1856: Lurie, the Turkish boy who came over with his father to America. His dad would not
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
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, arc
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
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
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
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
Karen KK
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.

Jamie Burgess
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american
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
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
The writing style in this book wasn’t for me. There were two narrators, neither of whom was telling a story in a compelling or compressible manner. There were meandering, random thoughts out of chronological order. I made it to the 20% point and gave up. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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
Inland is the latest novel by Tea Obreht that is an all-encompassing and beautifully written saga of the American West in the late nineteenth century. The book focuses on two very different characters leading very disparate lives until the exciting conclusion of the book when their lives intersect in a very different and unexpected but magical way. Nora Lark, a pioneering woman living in the Arizona Territory in the late nineteenth century is waiting for her husband, Emmett, to return as well as ...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
Inland proved to be a surprising reading experience for me in unexpected ways. I had heard positive words about the book before I began reading and was looking forward to it. Then I read the first section about the life and development of the young outlaw-to-be, Lurie Mattie. I disliked Lurie so much that I didn’t return to reading the book for a while after the chapter ended.

And then, a breath of fresh air, of sorts, as another story begins with the next chapter. In the desert of the Arizona t
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
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
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful writing and a complex female protagonist in this story that excavates a little-known bit of the history of the American West. Things were a bit slow getting going but I read the last 100 pages in a day, and the last few pages were glorious.
Mystical--ghosts, The Western landscape, water... This book is a luminous historical tale of connections and reflective of our contemporary world.

Benevolent ghosts and a charismatic camel loom large in intertwined sagas, based on historical events. This book will transport you into the mythical, parched Western American landscape before all our boarders were drawn. With prescient-like themes of immigration, manifest destiny and Indigenous self-determination, Inland is rooted in our collective ho
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
A story of the American western frontier in 1893. The story perpetuates some myths while also managing to dig into the harsh realities. It revolves around two main characters. The man is an outtlaw on the run always looking over his shoulder for those who pursue him. He also happens to be a cameleer in love with his camel. He runs from the law towards the unknown. Some years back he discovers himself to inherit the wants of his surrogate brothers who just happen to be ghosts. From then on he is ...more
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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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