Saturday, October 22, 2011

Torch by Cheryl Strayed

A family copes with the premature death of the mother

This was a well written novel, deeply felt. It succeeds at world creation and the world it creates is one typically ignored in contemporary fiction, that is, rural working class Minnesota and the uneducated but smart people who live there. Big subjects (methamphetamine addiction, the dismal state of Native Americans) are touched upon obliquely, but make their mark. Many three dimensional characters are found here, though the men seem sketched the weakest, especially the boyfriends.  The "happy" ending, however, felt a little forced, like a pretty ribbon on a festering scar.

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