Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book Review: In the Deep Midwinter by Robert Clark

This book is elegiac and exquisitely described, as it reaches rare depths of reflection on being human, making mistakes and needing forgiveness, all the elements at the base of existence. The book was written in the 90's in Seattle but is set in the 40's in St. Paul with absolute authenticity. Clark traces the changes in a family surviving several blows, the first of which is the death of a brother in a winter hunting accident. Several stories interweave, with painfully accurate descriptions of family dynamics, reactions to loss and love, and the world of medicine half a century ago. This describes how people work and react so accurately that it reached down into my own thoughts and changed the way I think even though my family situation is very different from the one described. It's that universal. The closest comparison I can make in tone and style is The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, which is a near-classic, so I suppose this must be a near-classic, too. Highly recommended.

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