“Listen to the sadness,
the echoes in my mind,
the place where I usually hide,
but now I cannot find…”
Anthony T. Hincks
Short synopsis: 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, and 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.
Seven destroyed lives
Or five. Not sure.
The novel ‘Idaho’ is a tale about love, forgiveness, violence, loss and the melancholy of life. It is depressingly-sad with a touch of the shy laugh and the hopeless unfancy ugliness (advice: skip it if you feel depressed)
Why had it happened?
What had she done?
Where was she in that moment?
Did I miss the ending?
No, you didn’t miss anything. The novel doesn’t have the ‘usual-crime-story-end’. Just like in the real life – there’s no fkn ending, because the life always goes on.
We are following the family of Wade and Jenny (plus their 2 kids: May and June) through the novel. We are jumping between the years, memories, emotions (the story takes place between 1973 and 2025, but the novel is not presented chronologically to reader). We are peering into the tragic past, into the meaning of country-side life, into the wow-forever-love.
Story: the child was killed – a killer caught – one more child has disappeared inside of the local forest.
Method of killing – hatchet
Killer – mom
Cause – unknown. There’s no fkn motive. It’s just life. Things happens.
Here’s the child.
Here’s the parent.
Here’s the hatchet.
That’s HOW simple to commit the crime.
I think we should rename the novel and call it – ‘Mom-butcher’…
Do not forget about dad, Wade – the only MAN in the whole story. Of course he is NOT (can not be!) a normal man. Because, right… nobody is normal haha. So this is one more story about the normal quiet life with abnormal heroes.
What was inside him would never go away.
What had happened would never not have happened.
Wade has an unusual kind of dementia. Dementia on the edge of ‘Let Me Kill You Softly’. With such interesting disease he’d be a perfect killer, but nope. ‘This is not a story about the killer, this is a story about how to die the HARD WAY,’ – telling us the author.
And he died.
Without the memories that his daughter have been murdered.
Or that he had a daughter.
Yeah, life is not the stories of Agatha Christie.
The reality is always dumb-boring, mentally-foggy and no fun at all.
Attention: one more woman in the story – Ann. Who is Ann? One mad MAD chick. But very kind. Probably she’s the one who have murdered our poor Wade…Sigh.
The most beautiful about the novel is the style of the writing. I’m going to agree with people who called it “gorgeously wrenching”. It’s like a criminal poetry, it gets inside of you: kills you a bit, brings the first aid, shows it to your face …and then leaves you to bleed. To death.
Also I liked that the author didn’t use those boring descriptions I often see in the books:
a) ‘his blue eyes was matching her nail polish’
b) ‘her feet were mysterious and emotionally tired’
In the ‘Idaho’ you get to know the heroes through their thoughts, decisions, silence, sights. It makes you feel like you know them, you share their pain, happiness, love.
The most interesting about the novel: you aren’t sure what had happened and who is the bad guy. The mystery remains even after you have finished the book. Or maybe I just didn’t get it.
Rate: I’d buy this book again.
Next post: Origami – Heart. Part 2: The Bad.
I’ll be busy until Saturday, folks, but I’ll try to post on Thursday and Sunday. And I’ll give you more reading-checking-time after my mom will leave = after Saturday.