Today I’m taking part in the blog tour being run by Midas PR for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize long list – there’s 12 books in total on the list and since the 5th of March, a total of 66 bloggers will review a book on the long list, all the way up to when the winner is announced on the 5th April.
I’m reviewing Inland by Téa Obreht.
In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives collide.
Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life–her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.
Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West.
Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history. It showcases all of Téa Obreht’s talents as a writer, as she subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West, making them entirely–and unforgettably–her own.
Star Rating – 3.5 Stars
Téa is well-known for her first novel, The Tiger’s Wife, and reading the blurb for Inland I was instantly intrigued. (Also, the cover is pretty awesome and totally eye-catching!)
It’s a sad novel, it’s a snapshot of the west during that time. It’s set in Arizona in 1893, this historical novel explores the other side of the American dream, something which we don’t hear or see much about.
There’s two narratives in the book. First, we focus on Lurie. A middle eastern kid who became an young outlaw in order to protect himself, and has to constantly run from the law, and before long finding himself touring the country with a bunch of soldiers and his camel (yes, seriously!)
Then we have Nora, who has young sons and a missing husband, living and working on the harsh land during a drought. So not easy.
Ghosts and the dead feature a lot here, and the readers are left to wonder if they’re real ghosts and apparitions or are the characters imaginations playing tricks on them.
I tad slow but keep at it! It’s a beautiful written story!