Thursday, October 7, 2010

Review of The Wake of Forgiveness

The Wake Of Forgiveness

Bruce Machart

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

309 pages

The Wake of Forgiveness is a poignant must read.

The Skala’s are one imperfect family living in Texas at the turn of the century and this is their story. It’s a story a full generation long of an, I hope unlikely farm family. Karel Skala is the youngest son, he’s a forlorn man trying to better his present by not reliving his past, but in doing so he finds that the past always seems to rise it’s sometimes ugly head, but he also hopes that if one can rise above his past then maybe he’ll find “The Wake of Forgiveness”.

Mr. Machart has a real hit on his hands with this his debut novel The Wake of Forgiveness. He gives us a unique look at the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century USA, Texas from the perspective of one family and the town they call home, it’s before the dust bowl and before the depression but he makes us see just how treacherous and precipitous life can be. He does this using dramatic prose like dialogue that enhances the reader’s enjoyment of the novel by adding stimulus that will definitely affect our senses while it tells the story of this one imperfect family, he adds time jumps that also enlighten us about his characters. His characters are plentiful, colorful, complicated and some are difficult to imagine, while others will tear at your heartstrings. His characters the Skala’s are an unbelievably believable family and Mr. Machart makes them so to his audience by giving us multifaceted looks at the differences and similarities in their personalities. His main protagonist Karel Skala is a character that you will want to get to know, and as we find out bits and pieces of his life so far it will become clear to us why he became the man he did.

This is a love story, it’s a coming of age story, it’s a family drama and will appeal to so many different audiences at the same time. It’s mainly a beautifully written prosaic piece of literary fiction and who ever you are will be better for having read it. And I want to thank Mr. Machart for allowing it to be a part of the Barnes and Noble First Look program.

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