Story of Edgar Sawtelle

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Waning Crescent of the Moon of Long Nights

Last night before bed I finished reading the Story of Edgar Sawtelle.  This is a big book and well-written.  The arc of the story brings Greek tragedy to mind.   A few people wend their way through a period of some 16 years or so, making choices and living out their consequences.  This book features notable passages of an American magic realism with ghosts playing significant roles.  There is, too, a village crone, Ida Paine, who dispenses sour wisdom as she runs a small grocery store.

Edgar, a mute boy, and the title character has a life of wonder and pain.  He interacts with a cast of well-drawn and closely observed dogs, his mother and father, an Uncle, a veternarian and his sheriff son.  The isolation of their circumstance in northern Wisconsin near Lake Superior and Chequamegon National Forest provides an at turns bleak and rich natural world for this story.

If you like a good story, well-told, this is a book for you, but beware.  It will break your heart.

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