Friday, April 10, 2015

Black River by S.M. Hulse

by:  S.M. Hulse
published by:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
publish date:  January 20, 2014

When Wes Carver returns to Black River, he carries two things in the cab of his truck: his wife’s ashes and a letter from the prison parole board. The convict who held him hostage during a riot, twenty years ago, is being considered for release.Wes has been away from Black River ever since the riot. He grew up in this small Montana town, encircled by mountains, and, like his father before him and most of the men there, he made his living as a Corrections Officer. A talented, natural fiddler, he found solace and joy in his music. But during that riot Bobby Williams changed everything for Wes — undermining his faith and taking away his ability to play.

I fell in love with this book.  It toyed with my emotions and then smashed my heart on the ground.  I couldn't believe that one smallish book could be packed with such a powerful story.

Wes's wife has just died from cancer.  As she's breathing her final breaths she only has one request, that her husband play his fiddle.  He can't do that because 20 years earlier when he was a Corrections Officer a convict held him hostage during a prison riot for nearly 40 hours and broke 9 of his fingers.   After she dies he has to go back to their hometown where he hasn't been in many years after a falling out with his stepson.  He has to spread her ashes and decide if he's going to testify at Bobby Williams parole hearing.  The homecoming is rife with turmoil for both Wes and his stepson, two men who aren't adept at letting go of the past.

This book was so good.  I highly encourage everyone to read it.  The first chapter or two was a little iffy for me because the writing style was a little unusual, but it was worth it.  The story is amazing.  It's sad and depressing, but in the end Wes turns out to be such a memorable character.  Love, love, loved it!!

No comments: