Idaho by Emily Roskovich

1. First lines 2. Published 2017 Penguin Random House 3. The Soldier Mountains on the Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho (detail) by Fredlyfish4 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia 4. Human eye [Public Domain] via pxfuel
For me, multiple switching between time periods interrupted the flow of the story.

Wade and Ann Mitchell live by a forested mountain in Idaho. Years previously, Wade, with his first wife Jenny and their two young children May and June are out collecting firewood in the forest. For some unknown reason, Jenny commits an act that destroys the family. The story is told mostly from the perspective of Ann, who tries to make sense of what has happened.

“The loose skin of a bloodhound is meant to hold the ground. . . . The heavy ears flopping forward at all times create the walls of the trail, a kind of tunnel and tunnel vision, the tips of the ears stirring up the particles on the ground for the wrinkles to gather and hold.”

“Kindness that is nothing special is the rarest and most honest.”

~Quotes from “Idaho” by Emily Roskovich
  • The Guardian: “In the final third of the novel, telling becomes excessively fragmentary, resembling short stories in a composite novel. At one point I failed to recognise a character and had to return to the beginning to identify him. That I was prepared to do so speaks volumes for the exceptional quality of Ruskovich’s writing.”
  • Kirkus: “Ruskovich’s debut opens to the strains of a literary thriller but transforms into a lyrical meditation on memory, loss, and grief in the American West.”

Author: Emily Ruskovich

Awards: 2019 Winner Dublin International Literary Award

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