Monday, July 16, 2012

Book five: Nightwoods by Charles Frazier

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier is a strange and lonely tale set in the Carolina backwoods of the 1960s.  Luce, the central character is a loner woman who finds herself taking care of an abandoned lodge. When her sister is murdered, she is given charge of her sister's two young children, a pair of misfits who don't talk, like to start fires, and have very odd appetites.  Luce slowly warms to a man named Stubblefield who becomes a friend and guardian when Bud, Luce's brother-in-law is acquitted (although guilty) of murdering his wife and comes to town in hopes of retrieving a small fortune he thinks his dead wife gave to the kids.

This is a bleak and sometimes scary tale that twists and turns through the Appalachian mountainside.  Frazier is an excellent writer who can make the strangest of plot lines seem sensible.  And his use of foreshadowing gave the book a much needed sense of fun. He even convinced me to like some pretty unlikable characters including Luce and the two children.  But if you're a little down and looking for something to cheer you up, I'd stay as far away from this book as you can.

1 comment:

  1. Frazier weaves together an atmospheric story using believable dialogue and vivid descriptions of rural Appalachia. It sometimes feels like every word of every sentence has been carefully constructed to pull the reader in. The characters are realistic and fascinating, the plot is intense and it's a real page turner. A beautifully written book, highly recommended.
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