Idaho

Idaho

3.51 (13,239 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

*Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2018*

One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time.

But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.

In a story told from multiple perspectives and in razor-sharp prose, we gradually learn more about this act, and the way its violence, love and memory reverberate through the life of every character in Idaho.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 30mm | 461g
  • CHATTO & WINDUS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0701189088
  • 9780701189082
  • 267,858

Flap copy

One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time.

But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.

In a story told from multiple perspectives and in razor-sharp prose, we gradually learn more about this act, and the way its violence, love and memory reverberate through the life of every character in Idaho.

‘One of the best books I’ve read this year… Emily Ruskovich’s writing is remarkably beautiful, and the fact that she doesn’t provide clear answers, that everything is a little hazy, makes it exactly the kind of book I enjoy’ Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days
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Review Text

"Fans of lush, psychological dramas like Top of the Lake or Broadchurch have their winter reading cut out for them. A provocative first novel filled to the brim with dazzling language, mystery, and a profound belief in the human capacity to love and seek forgiveness"
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Review quote

"I love Idaho for the sparse beauty of its prose, the unsolvable mystery at its heart, the cleverly constructed non-linear narrative and its preoccupations... which so closely match my own" -- Paula Hawkins * Guardian * "Writing that has the cool sharpness of lemonade... Unflinching, unfrilly, multi-layered storytelling that is both beautiful and devastating" -- Rachel Joyce "Hauntingly brilliant, this book will stay with you for days after you've put it down" * Evening Standard, Books of the Year * "You're in masterly hands here... will remind many of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping... wrenching and beautiful" * New York Times Book Review * "From the first page it is clear that Ruskovich's poetic, spare writing would be enough to compel on its own, but this extraordinary story of a violent event that decimates a young family in northern Idaho is the true engine here. It's a puzzle that enthrals from the outset." -- Lucy Clark * Guardian * "It's a set-up that reads straight out of the darkest of psychological thrillers ... That an act of such brutality inspires storytelling as beautiful as this is reason enough for this debut novel to stand out from the crowd" * Independent * "At first glance this novel looks like a typical example of the 'post-catastrophe' genre... In fact, Idaho is deeper and broader -- and far more interesting... Ruskovich is not afraid of tackling the messy ambiguity of 'real' life, nor the difficulty of truly knowing another person, and she delivers her revelations with assurance and skill" -- Kate Saunders * The Times * "Ruskovich's writing is well crafted and poetic, particularly when evoking nature and weather in the backwoods, and the contrast with Jenny's claustrophobic prison half-life is extremely well done. A sad, involving read." -- Fanny Blake * Daily Mail * "Breathtakingly written, haunting and heartbreaking, Idaho lingers long after it's finished" -- Louise Rhind-Tutt * iNews * "Devastating... a textured, emotionally intricate story of deliverance... Ruskovich's writing is a deft razor" * O, The Oprah Magazine * "It is two parts Donna Tartt, one part Daphne du Maurier. Ruskovich shares the former's unnerving knack for isolating her characters... and the latter's for psychological suspense and hauntings... bewitching and heady" -- Laura Freeman * Spectator * "Idaho is a world of vivid particularity, a collection of evanescent traces and tracks, stains and remnants" * Guardian * "Astonishing... an exquisite examination of how the ripples from a single tragic event play out across a panoply of vividly drawn characters" * Big Issue * "Riveting... exquisitely rendered with masterful language and imagery. You leave Idaho feeling as though you have been given a rare glimpse into the souls of genuinely surprising and convincing people, as E.M. Forster would have characterized the inhabitants of this world. Idaho is a powerful and deeply moving book, an impressive debut that portends good, even great, things to come" * Washington Post * "One of the best books I've read this year... Emily Ruskovich's writing is remarkably beautiful; the descriptions of the mountain and the forest are breathtaking. And the fact that she doesn't provide clear answers, that everything is a little hazy, makes it exactly the kind of book I enjoy... The characters are complex and real, their motivations always understated... It is a wonderful book and I'll be recommending it to anyone who will listen" -- Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days
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About Emily Ruskovich

Emily Ruskovich grew up in the Idaho Panhandle, on Hoodoo mountain. Her fiction has appeared in Zoetrope, One Story and the Virginia Quarterly Review. A winner of a 2015 O. Henry Award and a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, she now teaches creative writing at the University of Colorado, Denver. Idaho is her first novel.
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Rating details

13,239 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 18% (2,427)
4 35% (4,591)
3 31% (4,105)
2 12% (1,581)
1 4% (535)
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