Monday, September 12, 2011

read Bright's Passage (3 stars)

Bright's Passage: A NovelBright's Passage: A Novel by Josh Ritter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a sad little story about a World War I veteran from West Virginia with a rough upbringing and an even rougher adult life. It's no wonder he carries on conversations with his horse, whom he addresses as 'Angel'.

After his wife dies in childbirth, Henry Bright is on the run, with his infant son, from both a raging forest fire and his vengeful father-in-law. Along the way, the author weaves in flashbacks to childhood and the war and Henry starts questioning, ever more seriously, the wisdom of the advice offered to him by his 'angel'.

The writing shows that the songwriter/author has some serious storytelling chops. Many passages exude, as one might expect, lyric-like prose. It will be interesting to read his next book. Perhaps it will be longer and more polished, while keeping the heart and song shown in this one.

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