Anne's Reviews > Nightwoods

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

really liked it

Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain, while an amazing story, was a little slow-moving for my taste. So, I've been hesitant since to read any of his other novels. But this one looked short, so I thought I'd check it out. Then a friend told me she found it a bit slow, and I got scared again. But, I'm glad I read it. The subject matter is difficult and reminiscent of one of my favorite novels (in a visceral - wow - now this is the power of literature - kind of favorite), Bastard Out of Carolina. The main character, Luce, is on her own in the mountains (sound familiar?), but has recently been joined by the non-speaking twins of her murdered sister. As Luce adjusts to life with little ones to care for - in particular little ones who are not in an emotional space to give back in any loving kind of way, the story of her isolation unfolds. There were chapters or pages I read where my only reaction was, "what the hell is the point of this? Will this EVER end?" and there were others I read where my reaction was "what the hell is the point of this? Who cares, this is some amazing storytelling!" The overall narrative is tension-filled, and I feared a violent climax. I wouldn't say I found the book "enjoyable" - the subject matter is too raw and brutal. But this is a GOOD book. The writing is rich, the storytelling is gripping, and the characters are real. I'm a new believer in the power of Charles Frazier, and plan to go back and read his second novel, Thirteen Moons.

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