A History of Hands

Rod Val Moore . Univ. of Massachusetts, $19.95 paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-62534-096-2
Moore (Brittle Star) artfully weaves this unusual family, set on failing farm in California in the midst of a blighted year. One ill-fated day, which begins with an ominous warning from the narrator, everything changes. Having previously suffered from rose dust poisoning, the son, Virgil, already "too old to live with his parents" but dependent on them nevertheless, falls to the ground and cannot get up as he has lost all sensation in his arms. A suspicious elderly doctor, who is "superannuated and frail" but oddly energentic, arrives with his young aide Stuart to heal Virge's affliction free of charge. Narrated with finesse, the tempered absurdity combines dutifully with introspective loneliness and produces an enchanting effect. Luminous prose laced with dark humor, phantasmagoric imagery, and distinct and memorable characters make for a remarkable read. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 02/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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