REVIEW: IDAHO, BY EMILY RUSKOVICH

 

Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband’s memory fading, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to Wade’s first wife, Jenny, and to their daughters. In a story written in exquisite prose and told from multiple perspectives—including Ann, Wade, and Jenny, now in prison—we gradually learn of the mysterious and shocking act that fractured Wade and Jenny’s lives, of the love and compassion that brought Ann and Wade together, and of the memories that reverberate through the lives of every character in Idaho.

In a wild emotional and physical landscape, Wade’s past becomes the center of Ann’s imagination, as Ann becomes determined to understand the family she never knew—and to take responsibility for them, reassembling their lives, and her own.

My Thoughts: In the very beginning of Idaho, we are introduced to Ann and Wade at a time in their lives when Wade’s memories are beginning to fade.

I could visualize the scenery of their mountaintop home and understood why they remained there, even though Wade had lived there with his first wife Jenny, and their two daughters, June and May.

The story goes back and forth in time, to Wade’s childhood, Ann’s younger years, and then leaps ahead to a time in the distant future, when Wade is no longer a part of the picture. We watch as Ann carefully arranges her life so that she can move on.

We see the life Wade and Jenny had together, and then we flash forward to Jenny in prison, how she copes, and the one friendship she maintains with a woman named Elizabeth.

The tragedy that led to Jenny’s imprisonment was one that left this reader with many questions, and by the end, hanging in there and hoping for clear answers. Through Ann’s searching and imagining, we think we have it figured out…but it is only guesswork.

No clear resolution made the book feel frustrating, although it was well written. It will be one that stays with me, mostly because the book felt like a puzzle I could not quite solve. We do have a sense of Ann moving forward, however, and can visualize some of what lies ahead for Jenny. A 4 star read.

***
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8 thoughts on “REVIEW: IDAHO, BY EMILY RUSKOVICH

  1. Great review! This book is on my wish list and I so nearly bought it this week with the last of my book vouchers. I like books that don’t tie everything up at the end and leave me with something to think about so think this will be my kind of book. I may have to go order it now… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Laurel, so glad you reviewed this novel — as there’s been many mixed blog posts about this book. Some thought it was great, others hated it and said it didn’t amount to anything. I’m a bit hesitant about picking it up. I love the wilderness setting but the no resolution of it makes me feel like meh …. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started it, and then stopped to read another book. After coming back to it, I decided I would see where it took me, and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t a favorite, by any means, and the issues I had with it left me feeling a bit unsettled.

      Thanks for stopping by, Susan, and I hope you do enjoy it, if you decide to go for it.

      Like

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