West
From the winner of the 2015 Frank O'Connor Short Story Award, an exquisite, slender first novel set on the American frontier about a restless widower who heads west on a foolhardy and perilous expedition in search of unknown animals, leaving his intrepid young daughter behind to fend for herself at home.Addled by grief and dissatisfaction, thirty-five-year-old mule breeder John Cyrus Bellman takes one step and then another. With a small compass and meager provisions, he sets off into the wild frontier beyond his small farm in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on a doomed quest prompted by reports of colossal animal bones found in Kentucky. Promising to return in two years, Bellman leaves behind his only daughter Bess to the tender mercies of his taciturn sister Julie. With only a battered wall clock, her dead mother’s gold ring, and a barnyard full of miserable animals to call her own, Bess is forced to make her way in a deceptively hostile world, tracing her father’s path with arcane maps at the local subscription library and shrinking from the attentions paid to her and her aunt by their peculiar neighbor Elmer Jackson.Meanwhile, Bellman ventures farther into the harsh and alien landscape of the west, forging an uneasy but intimate fellowship with his guide, an American Indian boy who regards him with both suspicion and a piercing understanding. As father and daughter alike reach out into their own respective wildernesses, they find that the wilderness holds out its hands to them as well.Bold and lyrical, this brief epic transports readers to the beginning of the nineteenth century to explore themes of reckless determination, existential yearning, wonder, and isolation in a majestic and unforgiving landscape.

West Details

TitleWest
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 24th, 2018
PublisherScribner
ISBN-139781501179341
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary

West Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars.Inspired by Lewis and Clark’s expedition in the early 19th century, ten years later Cy Bellman, a grieving widower, leaves Pennsylvania and his 10 year old daughter Bess on an expedition to the West, on a quest for the huge animals that he thought might exist when he learns that large fossils have been found. What would possess a man to leave his young daughter with his sister alone on his mule breeding farm was beyond my imagination. For Cy it was a calling : “ I have to go. I have to 4.5 stars.Inspired by Lewis and Clark’s expedition in the early 19th century, ten years later Cy Bellman, a grieving widower, leaves Pennsylvania and his 10 year old daughter Bess on an expedition to the West, on a quest for the huge animals that he thought might exist when he learns that large fossils have been found. What would possess a man to leave his young daughter with his sister alone on his mule breeding farm was beyond my imagination. For Cy it was a calling : “ I have to go. I have to go and see. That’s all I can tell you . I have to.” He read an article with “no illustrations , but in his mind ...the monstrous bones, the prodigious tusks, uncovered where they lay ...A creature entirely unknown.” So he sets out alone bearing gifts and trinkets for any Native Americans he might meet along the way. He connects with a young Swanee boy, an unforgettable character and together they trek across thousands of miles, through brutal winters and harsh conditions. The narrative alternatives between Bellman’s journey and Bess’s perspective as she waits for her father to return. She’s a lonely girl without friends who goes to the library to learn what she can about her father’s quest. All the while facing danger herself. This novella is filled with so many emotions - sadness, grief, loneliness, regret, hope. In its brevity, it tells a sad, yet captivating and satisfying story. Well written and I highly recommend it.I received an advanced copy of this book from Scribner through Edelweiss.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 “Pre-Light-Pollution” Stars“I dip my cup of soup back from a gurgling crackling cauldron in some train yardMy beard ruff and then a cold pile and aAnd a dirty hat pulled low across my faceThrough cupped hands, 'round a tin canI pretend to hold you to my breast and findThat you're wavin' from the back roadsEver smiling, ever gentle on my mind”-- Gentle on My Mind, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Songwriters: John HartfordWhen John Cyrus Bellman first read about the giant bones that had been disc 4.5 “Pre-Light-Pollution” Stars“I dip my cup of soup back from a gurgling crackling cauldron in some train yardMy beard ruff and then a cold pile and aAnd a dirty hat pulled low across my faceThrough cupped hands, 'round a tin canI pretend to hold you to my breast and findThat you're wavin' from the back roadsEver smiling, ever gentle on my mind”-- Gentle on My Mind, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Songwriters: John HartfordWhen John Cyrus Bellman first read about the giant bones that had been discovered in Kentucky, he could not stop thinking about them, about the discovery and what it meant that these giant animal bones existed, also meant these creatures had walked the earth of Kentucky. Perhaps others were still walking in those undiscovered places in this still young country, it’s vastness still unexplored in this age. He had to see with his own eyes. Bellman was a big man, tall and broad that stood out even more for his red hair and a substantial beard whose colour was a slightly deeper shade. That he made his living by breeding mules seemed to fit him. His daughter, Bess, was ten years old the day he left on his horse, and as he explains to her and to his sister who will now be in charge of watching over Bess, he will be gone at least a year, possibly two years. Neither Bess nor Julie, her aunt, had predicted this long a trip, thinking in terms of months, not years. Bess immediately thinks of the fact that in two years, she will be twelve. A long time, especially, for a girl who has already lost her mother. Her aunt thinks her father is a fool, but Bess sees him as brave and resolute, a man with a purpose. A grand adventure awaits him. She only wishes he had taken her, as well. And so he leaves his home of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and follows the path he’s studied in the library books and their maps. He doesn’t carry much, some baubles and trinkets to exchange for food with the natives he’s assured he’ll meet along the way. A shirt of his deceased wife, a thimble, some knitting needles, and begins his journey, heading toward the Missouri River to follow its path, and the journey of Lewis and Clark. Every now and then he meets someone along the road and sketches an outline of his imagined view of how these giant beasts might look in the dirt, gesturing toward the trees to indicate their size and asking if they’ve seen these gigantic creatures, but no one has.A smallish seventeen year-old Shawnee, slightly bowlegged young man named Old Woman From A Distance,” becomes Bellman’s paid assistant and companion, and together they take the reader on a journey through a way of life that no longer exists. I loved this, I loved the slow pacing of this journey, the ins and outs of the days, even when their days held no discovery, and when they were fraught with peril. I loved this journey in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark’s expedition, and re-setting my mind into an era so far removed from the one we live in. I loved reading the alternate sides of this story, where Bellman and Old Woman From a Distance were struggling along their journey under rough conditions, and Bess struggling under her own circumstances as time passes. And I loved the little things, such as when Old Woman sees the writing of Bess's name in a letter from her father, he sees them as the shapes he finds in nature: "...the sideways hills, the half-closed eyes, the two small, wriggling snakes." I loved Bess, hoped and prayed alongside her as she hopes and prays for her father’s return, left in the care of a woman whose only concern is for her own life.Beautifully written, this is a lovely, poignant, “slender” debut novel set in the American frontier, a time of exploration, an era filled with dangers of its own, wilderness, isolation, ignorance, hostile surroundings and the dangers - and beauty - found in this world.Pub Date: 24 Apr 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by Scribner Books / Simon & Schuster
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  • Annie Rosewood
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. Finishing this novel has at once made me speechless as well as making me want to write an essay because there is so much that I could say about it. This novel is about extinction - of a species, of a people, and of that intangible something that lingers within us and propels us to pursue something greater than ourselves. I loved the pacing and the way that Davies describes the silent beauty of nature and the tender interactions between the characters. There is nothing flowery or sentimental Wow. Finishing this novel has at once made me speechless as well as making me want to write an essay because there is so much that I could say about it. This novel is about extinction - of a species, of a people, and of that intangible something that lingers within us and propels us to pursue something greater than ourselves. I loved the pacing and the way that Davies describes the silent beauty of nature and the tender interactions between the characters. There is nothing flowery or sentimental here, just a bare and quiet eloquence and subtle poignancy.I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    John Cyrus Bellman left his Lewiston, PA farm and his only child to embark on a quest into the west. He knew he would be gone at least two years. Was he a fool, like his sister judged, or romantic and adventurous, as he appeared to his daughter Bess? Bellman's desire to see undiscovered country was rooted in a longing to find the living creatures whose huge bones had been discovered in Kentucky. He had already crossed an ocean, from England to America, built a farm, had a child, and lost a wife. John Cyrus Bellman left his Lewiston, PA farm and his only child to embark on a quest into the west. He knew he would be gone at least two years. Was he a fool, like his sister judged, or romantic and adventurous, as he appeared to his daughter Bess? Bellman's desire to see undiscovered country was rooted in a longing to find the living creatures whose huge bones had been discovered in Kentucky. He had already crossed an ocean, from England to America, built a farm, had a child, and lost a wife. But the West beckoned with its mysteries and he could no longer stay put.Bellman studied the Lewis and Clark Expedition maps at the subscription library. His plan was to follow their trail...but to diverge into the vast spaces they had left unstudied. He was certain he would find the mammoth creatures alive. He packed up trading items and set off on his journey, leaving his daughter and farm to his sister's care.Carys Davies novel West takes readers across hostile landscapes both wild and settled. As Bellman faces cruel winters and lean seasons, accompanied only by a Native American boy, back in Lewistown his daughter Bess survives in an isolated land without parental love or friends. Bess dreams of her father's travels, longing to see the library maps herself. And, unprotected in the world, as Bess nears puberty, men watch her and wait and scheme.Bellman's decision to go on his journey seemed to me at once a quest and an escape, resulting in a "night sea journey" recognition of what he had given up in leaving his known world. He struggles with the choices he made, realizing that sometimes we set our mind on what seems important only to realize we have been mistaken in our values.The novel is beautifully written. I received a free ebook from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    I finished this very short novel wanting more but realising that it had said it all already. An insubstantial story, really, but some striking themes (the outstanding one being grief - for a wife, a family and a nation) and images of an America with vast areas still to be explored. Cy’s need to find something wonderful in his life, effectively abandoning the most wonderful thing he already has, his daughter, and his eventual realisation of this, has a deeper poignancy than I’d expected. I was ve I finished this very short novel wanting more but realising that it had said it all already. An insubstantial story, really, but some striking themes (the outstanding one being grief - for a wife, a family and a nation) and images of an America with vast areas still to be explored. Cy’s need to find something wonderful in his life, effectively abandoning the most wonderful thing he already has, his daughter, and his eventual realisation of this, has a deeper poignancy than I’d expected. I was very struck, too, with his relationship with his young Native American guide and the way it developed over the months from mutual ambivalence to, if not outright affection, a kind of accommodation despite their lack of a common language. A real treat to read and it has prompted me to seek out her collections of short stories as soon as I can. Highly recommended.With thanks to Granta Publications via NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Incredibly different from Galen Pike and loving that collection does not necessarily mean that you will love this novella. However, I was truly struck by the story. To me, this book would be like if a Kent Haruf book married The Great Gatsby and they had little baby book offspring. It is not at all a retelling of Gatsby, but many shared themes resonated with me (only reimagined as a Western/Midwestern version - that’s where the Haruf comes in). Some shared themes - although I think there are mor Incredibly different from Galen Pike and loving that collection does not necessarily mean that you will love this novella. However, I was truly struck by the story. To me, this book would be like if a Kent Haruf book married The Great Gatsby and they had little baby book offspring. It is not at all a retelling of Gatsby, but many shared themes resonated with me (only reimagined as a Western/Midwestern version - that’s where the Haruf comes in). Some shared themes - although I think there are more - include: America as a physical continent, the pursuit of American dreams (often in the face of futility), and characters who are “careless drivers” with respect to others in their lives (or who are otherwise driven by self-preservation). To me, it was a remarkable, tight story with gorgeous, beautiful writing. But I will readily say that this book for me was more about the themes/language and less about the plot (it needed to be a novella). I can easily imagine the best literature teacher I ever had incorporating this into a syllabus, or having it be part of a fabulous book club discussion, and I look forward to rereading to see what else is inside and remains to be discovered.
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  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    This is a truly remarkable book - cinematic in its scale and ambition; the characters alive and recognisable from the first page. I read it greedily in one sitting and I know I'll go back to it again. The writing is spare and precise - yet Davies has so much empathy for the characters she illustrates so well with so few words. This is the birthday present all my friends will be getting this year!
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  • Text Publishing
    January 1, 1970
    ‘A tightly knit, compulsively readable tale…Davies’ slender novel has all the heft of a sprawling western classic.’Booklist, starred review‘West’s strength lies in belief, and wonder, and the simple pure clarity of that in an incomprehensible world.’Cynan Jones‘Menace and mordant wit are the blood that runs through these veins, but there’s a pulse of wonder in Carys Davies’ West. She sees the world and its inhabitants both as we hope they are and as we fear that they might be. An audacious and e ‘A tightly knit, compulsively readable tale…Davies’ slender novel has all the heft of a sprawling western classic.’Booklist, starred review‘West’s strength lies in belief, and wonder, and the simple pure clarity of that in an incomprehensible world.’Cynan Jones‘Menace and mordant wit are the blood that runs through these veins, but there’s a pulse of wonder in Carys Davies’ West. She sees the world and its inhabitants both as we hope they are and as we fear that they might be. An audacious and enigmatic debut of thrilling dimensions, and a reminder of fiction’s possibilities.’Akhil Sharma‘A story of determination, betrayal, folly and reckless hope written in the grand tradition of the pioneers. You enter the familiar American frontier and shortly are convinced, with Davies’ hero, that the mammoths of the Pleistocene still shyly roam the Plains. The seams between imagination and history in this extraordinary story are invisible. I believed every word.’Salvatore Scibona‘West is a journey and a wonder. A man leaves what he loves and goes west in search of the amazing. A story concerned with value and language, love and absence, life and death. A debut of real distinction.’Bernard MacLaverty‘West proves what in-the-know lovers of her short stories have already been trumpeting: Carys Davies is a deft, audacious visionary, a master of the form. In West, she breaks open our fascination with fated journeys and the irrepressible draw of the unknown, imbuing the American landscape with her own rare magic, twisting the heart as few others can, brilliantly navigating the tension between narrative minimalism and imaginative opulence.’ Téa Obreht‘To read Carys Davies’ West is to encounter a myth, or a potent dream—a narrative at once new and timeless. Exquisite, continent, utterly vivid, this short novel will live on in your imagination long after you read the last page.’Claire Messud‘West has all the stark power and immediacy of a folk-tale or a legend. It is also structured with great artistry, a beguiling sense of form and pace, and a depth in the way the characters are created, making clear that Carys Davies is a writer of immense talent.’Colm Tóibín‘Wonderful.’Sarah Jessica Parker‘Davies’ slim, complex, and achingly beautiful first novel is a sculpture of daring shifts and provocative symmetries welded together by lyrical, fast-paced prose…A masterful first novel—the sort of book that warms even as it devastates, that forces serious reflection and yet charms.’STARRED Review, Kirkus
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  • Beadyjan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was, for me a very fast read, it's a short book with a big punch.It tells the story of Cy Bellmann, a pioneering Brit who has previously emigrated to Pennsylvania to farm mules and horses, this act alone tells us he is man not averse to taking a great risk to achieve what he wants in life even if it is to the cost of those dear to him, you'd think he'd be satisfied with what he has! Now widowed and left alone with just his young daughter Bess who is now 10, for company, like many of us This book was, for me a very fast read, it's a short book with a big punch.It tells the story of Cy Bellmann, a pioneering Brit who has previously emigrated to Pennsylvania to farm mules and horses, this act alone tells us he is man not averse to taking a great risk to achieve what he wants in life even if it is to the cost of those dear to him, you'd think he'd be satisfied with what he has! Now widowed and left alone with just his young daughter Bess who is now 10, for company, like many of us, he knows there must be something greater than his humdrum life. He's only 35 but boy does this guy have a sudden mid life crisis. He hears news of a momentous discovery far away in Kentucky, a pile of colossal animal bones. He is convinced this skeleton reveals the presence of a yet undiscovered wondrous living creature and it ignites a fire in him he hasn't felt since before his wife died, he burns to be the one to find this huge animal. Talk about throwing caution to the wind - he buys a new hat and overcoat, clambers on a horse and sets off in a Westerly direction, abandoning his only daughter to the not so tender ministration of his curmudgeonly spinster sister Julie telling her vaguely he may be back in a couple of years.The book in turns follows his trail as he follows his unlikely and foolhardy quest. Then it follows Bess as she matures without the love of a parent, and spends time at the library trying to follow his likely progress on maps.The book is sparse without much of the embroidery and detail which often fills works of pioneers on a great journey yet it paints a starkly beautiful image of a land so vast that it is indeed possible creatures could be hiding and never have been seen in living memory. Cy encounters Native Indians and gets himself a travel companion/guide, a young American Indian lad with a wonderful tongue in cheek name, who speaks not a word of English.Meanwhile whilst he is away, Bess grows older and begins to attract very unwelcome attention of the wrong sort and her Aunt who barely even acknowledges her is no protector.This is a simple tale of how a deep yearning can cause us to lose sight of the treasures we already have, in the never ending quest for "there must be more than this". It is also about seeking atonement and mentally punishing oneself for past deeds, whilst telling oneself that it is for the greater good that one makes decisions and not for self gratification. It is a delectably enjoyable book and is almost allegorical in its nature with the extinct species at the heart of the tale continuing to have an impact over the years and the moral that even if there is something bigger than us out there it doesn't necessarily follow that it is what we need for our own survival.The ending is satisfying and the path to reach it is a terrible and awesome journey of deprivation and dogged determination. A lovely little fable with great characters.
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  • Martin
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book. It has a great story and characters you care about too. I won’t give away the ending but you won’t leave unsatisfied. I read a lot of books about the exploration of the West (mainly factual) and this brings the geography and history to life.
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  • Noelle Walsh
    January 1, 1970
    This book was an alright book. I felt it could have been a longer story to give the characters more development time but I still thought it was good overall.*won as a GoodReads Giveaway*
  • Cassandra
    January 1, 1970
    It takes a skilled writer to say so much in so few words.
  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely captivating. Intelligent, profound, witty, heartbreaking.
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    This was a lean, satisfying read, sown with a sense of wonder. As with her shorts, Davies takes a tender interest in her characters, but there's adventure here as well. Recommended.
  • Ann Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    This is unequivocally one of the best books I've ever read. It's truly remarkable how the author can compose language to create such memorable characters, settings, suspense and revelation in just 160 or so pages. Other authors are using the word "exquisite" when describing this novel and I couldn't agree more. This would make a fantastic book group title as discussions about the characters, their motivations and their tragedies would be lively. I really hope this book gets the awards attention This is unequivocally one of the best books I've ever read. It's truly remarkable how the author can compose language to create such memorable characters, settings, suspense and revelation in just 160 or so pages. Other authors are using the word "exquisite" when describing this novel and I couldn't agree more. This would make a fantastic book group title as discussions about the characters, their motivations and their tragedies would be lively. I really hope this book gets the awards attention it deserves and I very much look forward to Davies' future writings.
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  • Kalen
    January 1, 1970
    This is a spare novel both in terms of page count and plot. I enjoyed it but you know how sometimes you're walking along a sidewalk and you trip over an uneven patch? That was my experience here. Recently there was an article in the Guardian about American writers writing British books and British writers writing American books and how hard it is. It is really hard. It isn't something that should be attempted without a lot of research and without a native speaker to do a read for correct languag This is a spare novel both in terms of page count and plot. I enjoyed it but you know how sometimes you're walking along a sidewalk and you trip over an uneven patch? That was my experience here. Recently there was an article in the Guardian about American writers writing British books and British writers writing American books and how hard it is. It is really hard. It isn't something that should be attempted without a lot of research and without a native speaker to do a read for correct language, geography, etc. Davies mostly gets it right. There were a few things here--not enough to derail the book as a whole--but that stumble while walking along the sidewalk that throws you off your stride. You always look back to see what happened and that's what I did with West. I had to stop a few times to make sure I'd read something correctly (two implications that the Missouri River is east of St. Louis) and then also stop to look something up. Splodging is a British word but I had to double check that because after being married to a Brit for more than 20 years sometimes I forget which words are his and which are mine. It's not a word that would have ever been used in the frontier west. So, small quibbles. My larger quibble (and it's just a quibble--not a massive complaint) is that the book just ended. I'm okay with unresolved endings (they're fun) but this just stopped. And after a really critical event that changed everything. But Davies is largely a short story writer and you see that device a lot in short stories (which is one of the reasons people say they don't like short stories....) So, I do recommend West. It's a solid read. My quibbles may not be your quibbles. I tend to have reading quibbles as my Goodreads friends know. And I will read Davies again for sure. I really like her voice and her style.
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  • Joseph
    January 1, 1970
    4.5*Carys Davies’s debut novel West is a work of historical fiction set on the American frontier in the early 19th Century. John Cyrus Bellman, a thirty-five year old widower and mule breeder, reads about sensational discoveries of fossils in Kentucky and, for the first time since the death of his wife, his imagination is fired up. He feels that he has found his calling – that of travelling West in a bid to see the bones for himself, and possibly trace the giant creatures which might still be ro 4.5*Carys Davies’s debut novel West is a work of historical fiction set on the American frontier in the early 19th Century. John Cyrus Bellman, a thirty-five year old widower and mule breeder, reads about sensational discoveries of fossils in Kentucky and, for the first time since the death of his wife, his imagination is fired up. He feels that he has found his calling – that of travelling West in a bid to see the bones for himself, and possibly trace the giant creatures which might still be roaming deep in uncharted territory. The scepticism of friends and relatives does not deter him, and he departs upon this quest, even though this means leaving his beloved daughter Bess behind him, in the care of his sister. Thus the novel unfolds, alternating between an account of John’s voyage and a description of Bess’s journey into adulthood.Carys Davies has published two collections of short stories and she brings to a larger canvas the pithiness and conciseness which characterize the best short-story writers. At 160 pages, West might be better described as a novella, and yet it often has the epic feel of a much longer novel. It is a “western” in the best sense of the word, evoking the vast open spaces of an unknown America ripe for discovery. But it is also an intimate and poetic work, as the third person narration delves into the innermost thoughts of Bess, John and, at a later stage, the young Native American who accompanies John on his journey. The fable-like simplicity of the novel’s language does hinder it from facing big issues head-on – endings, beginnings and survivals; fate, faith and the nature of belief; personal and collective memory. West is a quick read but I suspect that its images will long resonate in my mind.
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  • Andy Lillich
    January 1, 1970
    This short novel includes several things I love in fiction: believable historical detail that sucks the reader right into another place and time; believable and relatable characters for a reader to care deeply about and keep the pages turning; vivid (and poetically brief) descriptions of landscape, creatures, people and domestic spaces; and a story that shifts the reader skillfully through multiple points of view, allowing her to gain a greater understanding of the meaning of what she reads. Bes This short novel includes several things I love in fiction: believable historical detail that sucks the reader right into another place and time; believable and relatable characters for a reader to care deeply about and keep the pages turning; vivid (and poetically brief) descriptions of landscape, creatures, people and domestic spaces; and a story that shifts the reader skillfully through multiple points of view, allowing her to gain a greater understanding of the meaning of what she reads. Best of all, it is a story that takes its reader on a journey of discovery that is masterfully crafted with not a wasted word that is also full of emotional impact - suspense, grief, wonder, courage, hope, dread - and compassion. Most of all, I loved a twist that occurs sometime in the middle that shocked me and caused me to question all I THOUGHT I knew about two of the characters - only to find out as the story continued how wrong I could be.Reminded me of Hannah Kent and Paulette Jiles - although, not QUITE as deeply fulfilling as News of the World.Do yourself a favor and take a break, as I did, from reading longer and denser novels and savor this little gem.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Davies packs a lot into this short but impactful novel. John Bellman's quixotic quest leaves his daughter Bess to manage more than she should at her age. She's unmoored but she's also a tough one. Davies captures both father and daughter with few words. I'm torn because I appreciate the skill and language that made this story spring to life in such a slim book but I also think this plot has such huge potential that it could have been a terrific longer novel. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This Davies packs a lot into this short but impactful novel. John Bellman's quixotic quest leaves his daughter Bess to manage more than she should at her age. She's unmoored but she's also a tough one. Davies captures both father and daughter with few words. I'm torn because I appreciate the skill and language that made this story spring to life in such a slim book but I also think this plot has such huge potential that it could have been a terrific longer novel. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This is a good one for book clubs, who will find a lot to discuss about family, explorations, faith, and hope.
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  • Steve Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    A book received through Goodreads giveaways.No complex plot lines here, but rather a simple story effectively told and entertaining throughout. The advanced copy I received came in at under 150 pages so not a lot of unecessary description to divert away from the storyline. If I had to encapsulate the theme of the book I guess I would say that is a story of dreams and hopes some of which may never be fufilled but are worth striving for. While not a lot of charcaters in thhe book, those that are t A book received through Goodreads giveaways.No complex plot lines here, but rather a simple story effectively told and entertaining throughout. The advanced copy I received came in at under 150 pages so not a lot of unecessary description to divert away from the storyline. If I had to encapsulate the theme of the book I guess I would say that is a story of dreams and hopes some of which may never be fufilled but are worth striving for. While not a lot of charcaters in thhe book, those that are there are interesting and well developed. A recommended read
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  • Laraine
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars. I won this book from Goodreads First Reads. This slim novel tells us the story of a man, Cy Bellman, who sets off on a journey west after reading about fossil remains found in a Kentucky swamp. He wants to see these mammoth creatures himself. He leaves his young daughter Bess in the care of his sister Julie and sets out. We learn about his journey, the Indian man who joins him, and what happens to his daughter at home while he is away. A compelling read.
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  • EL.
    January 1, 1970
    4.5! So so good. I may go back and round it up.
  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    ARC given to me by the publisher in exchange for review, review will be published at The Wales Arts Review (and then here) closer to publication date.
  • Geraldine
    January 1, 1970
    Like all her writing, every word deserves to be savoured. This is a deceptively simple and beautifully told story. And I shall look forward to re-reading it.
  • Day
    January 1, 1970
    Review posted here: https://55booksin52weeks.wordpress.co...
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