Genre: literary fiction
Length: 554 pages
Setting: Northeastern U.S. and Canada, 1954-2005
Interest: It provided an I author for last year’s Alphabet Soup challenge. I didn’t finish it in time for last year, so I’ll start the year with an author letter I didn’t get last year.
Summary: We follow the life of Daniel Baciogalupo. At 12, he and his father, a cook, are living in a logging camp in New Hampshire. Danny accidentally kills Injun Jane, while his father was having sex with her, and they frame the local cop, who was also sleeping with her and prone to domestic abuse after a night of drinking. They go on the run to hide from the cop, changing their names and moving. The only person they stay in contact with is the old logger, Ketchum. Danny becomes a writer and his father works at various restaurants as they move about to hide from the cop. While Danny and his father live a fairly successful, satisfying life, they’re always looking over their shoulder for disaster to strike, which does several times.
Final thoughts: Irving writes some quality literary fiction. We follow Danny and his father as they run from, but ultimately can’t hide from, their past. Danny transmutes it all into writing. We see distinct portions of Danny’s life, but catch up on the major events with flashbacks and memories. I loved the ending and how circular the book become as Danny writes a new book who’s beginning sentences are the same as the beginning of the novel.
Title comes from: Danny and his father were living along the Twisted River when everything changed for them in one night and they ran.
Reading challenges fulfilled: 1/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge and an I in my Author Alphabet Challenge
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