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Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin, a book review

Sometimes you read a good book with an engaging story line told in manner that infuses the book with beautiful language. James McLaughlin's novel, Bearskin, is told in that manner, engaging story, beautiful prose.

Like this sentence about crows:
. . . glinting like chips of obsidian in the sunlight.
Or this about the late afternoon:
The sun seemed to be drifting away, exhausted.
And this about the evening:
The night air moved over his face like water.
The description of Virginia weather and Virginia country is not something to race through to get to the story, it is something to be savored.

The characters hide secrets, disclose secrets and create new ones in a tangle that hurtles through mud, forest, a smattering of gunfire, desecration of animals, of men, and two women.

The protagonist becomes a collector of bones, feathers and shedded snake skins. His slow loss of reality through dehydration adds mystery to his experience.

In the final movement of the novel, the reader glances ahead to see how close to the end they might be, and they slow down, not wanting it to end too soon. And then it does end, in a whisper of dog, of water and smooth stones, and a watching bear, "in alien light."

Highly recommend.

Source: Library loan.





Purchase through our affiliate link, and referral fees donated to Woman of Wonder, a college scholarship fund for women.



Print Length: 352 pages

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