Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Book Review Musings: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

The extraordinary debut novel that became a modern classic
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. Edgar seems poised to carry on his family's traditions, but when catastrophe strikes, he finds his once-peaceful home engulfed in turmoil.
Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the Sawtelle farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who accompany him, until the day he is forced to choose between leaving forever or returning home to confront the mysteries he has left unsolved.
Filled with breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a meditation on the limits of language and what lies beyond, a brilliantly inventive retelling of an ancient story, and an epic tale of devotion, betrayal, and courage in the American heartland.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this novel. It was fairly slow moving and deliberate but in a good way. I just reveled in the language, how well-written it was. The story was crafted so well and I loved how David Wroblewski put his words on a page. He took the time to set up the people and places of the novel in a quiet, restrained way which I loved. The pace was a nice change - slow, meandering, and beautiful. But, never boring in any way.

If you like to read - if words are wonderful and you enjoy excellent writing, then you will love this one.

Edgar Sawtelle is one of those unforgettable characters - one that stays with you and gives you a feeling of knowing that is impossible as he is fictional. I loved reading about his journey. All of the characters are complexly drawn, three-dimensional and the story itself is highly emotional and inspiring.

I can't recommend this one enough ...

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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