Across the Endless River

Thad Carhart, Author, Thaddeus Carhart, Author . Doubleday $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-52977-8

Carhart follows The Piano Shop on the Left Bank with an uneven historical about the divide between the rugged frontiers of the New World and the court intrigues of Europe. Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, son of Sacagawea, acts as a guide for natural scientist Paul Wilhelm of Württemberg. Impressed by Baptiste's knowledge, Paul invites him to travel to Europe and assist him in cataloguing his North American treasures, beginning a five-year adventure that will see Baptiste “change in ways he could not imagine.” In Europe, Baptiste visits noble homes and palaces, attends lavish balls and beds charming women. He ambles through a Parisian market, taking in “its pungent smells and the high, piercing cries from the sellers” and later joins the French gentry on a civilized hunt. It's all marvelously captured, and though Carhart can be less than subtle with some of the race politics, the biggest problem with this finely crafted milieu is that Baptiste's survey of Europe feels more like a prelude than a plot. The imagery is stirring, but the story isn't. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/13/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 221 pages - 978-0-385-53205-1
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-0-7679-3173-1
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