Lime CreekDONE

Joe Henry, Random, $24 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6941-5
Songwriter and ex-rancher Henry's slight and earthy debut, a short volume of eight connected stories of the high plains, begins with Spencer Davis, "an interloper in a cowboy hat," who marries Elizabeth Putnam of Cambridge, Mass., and spirits her off to a Wyoming ranch to birth foals, put up the hay, and have kids—Lonny, Luke, and Whitney. In subsequent sketches, Spencer discusses his physical and psychological WWII scars with his three awed sons; Luke has to put down his old mare; and Whitney and Luke star on the high school gridiron. The Davis men prove to be resilient, tough, and stubborn, and also prone to bouts of lyrical fancy such as with Spencer's thoughts of Elizabeth as an "inland sea washing up and falling back and washing up again with the muffled tide-like stroke of her own intimate pulse." It's brooding and deadly serious in the way that fiction of the rustic West often is, but maybe too much so, as the reader is all too aware of what Henry strains for, but doesn't reach: the lean, mournful power of Annie Proulx. (June)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 67 pages - 978-0-679-60503-4
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