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The lighthouse road
Geye, Peter
Adult Fiction GEYE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In Geye's second novel, Odd Eide is born of a crime into difficult late-19th-century rural Minnesota and orphaned within days. But the real tragic figures in this dour, detached novel are the women in Odd's life: his mother, a young Norwegian immigrant living in a crude logging camp; and Rebekah, who helps raise Odd in his adoptive home. When Odd comes of age, he and Rebekah, several years apart, fall in love and leave backwater Gunflint behind. The complex and ambivalent Rebekah helps compensate for the frustrating muddiness that characterizes much of this novel. Geye is a thoughtful writer, but his constant shifts between 1896 and 1920, possibly intended to induce tension that the plot doesn't merit, slow the characters' development and prompt readers to stop caring. Of little assistance here is the annoyingly earnest Odd, who Geye (Safe From the Sea) places at the novel's center. The story concerns his redemption, but he has done little to need or earn it in comparison to Rebekah or his mother. After a too-long struggle with good bones but inadequate flesh, the novel draws to an appropriately weary ending. Agent: Laura Langlie. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Geye (Safe from the Sea) returns to his familiar setting, the unforgiving landscape of northern Minnesota, and brings the plight of Norwegian immigrants vividly to life. On a cold November in 1896, a son is born to Thea Eide, a cook in a primitive logging camp. She succumbs to fever, and the boy, named Odd, is left in the care of his guardian, Hosea Grimm. Grimm delivers babies, sets broken bones, and runs an apothecary in the town of Gunflint. As a young man, Odd despairs of ever getting away from Hosea and his other enterprises, bootlegging and prostitution, but he develops a plan: build and outfit his boat so he can escape with Grimm's daughter, Rebekah. When Rebekah announces she's expecting their baby, Odd accelerates their plans to leave for Duluth just as winter is setting in. He is able to provide for his new family as a boat builder, but there are no happy endings here, only resilience and resolve to carry on. Odd is determined that his son will not experience a loss as he did. VERDICT With spare realism, Geye puts a fresh spin on a familiar tale, rendering a powerful portrayal of family bonds in an era long past. Highly recommended.-Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Grand Junction, CO (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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