Sun Going Down

Jack Todd, Author . Touchstone $26 (467p) ISBN 978-1-4165-5048-8

Three generations of the Paint family struggle through 70 years of hardship and heartache on the Western plains in Todd’s ambitious fiction debut. En route from Mississippi to the Dakota Territory at the height of the Civil War, Ebenezar Paint meets and marries twice-widowed Cora, a union that produces two strapping twin boys, Eli and Ezra. Ebenezer vainly chases riches; by 15, the boys are orphans and cowboys—and involved in a risky but profitable bit of horse stealing. Ezra remains a wanderer, while Eli settles down to become a wealthy rancher. The narrative eventually follows Eli’s favorite daughter of his six children: Velma, who is brutalized by two of her three husbands, but whose estrangement from Eli causes her the most pain, and takes the story into the Depression era. Vivid and colorful in its depiction of the West’s transformation from the frontier to the modern age, this is a hardscrabble tale of proud folks who refuse to forgive mistakes or forget faults. Todd’s previous book was Desertion , a memoir of his 1969 desertion from the U.S. Army and his resettlement in Canada. He gives this epic story, which an afterword notes is based on the lives of relatives, pulpy sweep and palpable anguish. (May)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 566 pages - 978-1-4165-5049-5
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-4391-6507-2
Paperback - 450 pages - 978-0-14-305539-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4703-2337-0
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