Ok, I’ll admit I sometimes have quirky taste… this novel hit my quirky sweet spot. Weldon is the son of a lumberjack. His father was pressured to quit the dangerous lifestyle but kept hold of his land, a piece of land that is treacherous but beautiful. After years of denying his inner desires, he returns to the plot and is tragically killed. Weldon is a young, scrawny teen but is determined to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers and become a ‘jack’ despite its danger and the pressure from other illustrious lumberjacks to sell his cursed plot.
The story is told by Weldon on his deathbed and it has the flavor of a tall tale in the vein of Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill. The life of a lumberjack is tough and dangerous but we learn that they are not just threatened by the conditions of nature but by their own egos and desire to outdo one another. There are many scenes of brutality: man against man, man against nature, man against woman and man against child. That said, the story is a coming of age tale of a young man fighting all the odds to try to rise above his circumstances and the threats of the world around him. He’s a child with big dreams and a desire for glory. And goddamn if he’s not got the work ethic and cajones to make it happen.
I totally don’t think this book will be for everyone but if you love a sense of adventure, a story about the glories of nature or a coming of age tale, this one just may spark your interest. I listened to it on audio and it’s read by the author Josh Ritter, he does a fabulous job! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Libro.fm for a copy. All opinions above are my own.
Do you prefer to read books everyone else is reading so you can discuss or do you find yourself reading the less buzzy books so you can influence when you love them?