Published by Random House on January 3rd 2017
O.Henry Prize-winner Emily Ruskovich tells the story of a woman piecing together the mystery of what happened to a family. Idaho is a debut novel about love, forgiveness, and memory—the violence of memory, and the equal violence of its loss.
Ann and Wade have carved out a living for themselves from a rugged landscape, but they are bound together by more than love. In a story told from multiple perspectives—Ann, Wade, Wade’s first wife Jenny, now in prison for murder—and in exquisite, razor-sharp prose, we gradually learn of the shocking act that originally brought Ann and Wade together, and which reverberates through the lives of every character in Idaho.
When you read a book about murder especially a horrific murder you expect a resolution, an explanation, something to ease the pain. In Idaho Emily Ruskovich gives you none of that.
Ann knows when she married Wade that he has early on-set dementia and that his first wife murdered one of their children. The beauty of the story is not about the murder, but how Ann goes about bringing closure to an act that was so brutal. We don’t often get a glimpse of the aftermath of a tragedy, it goes against our sensibilities not to know what happened but the author is more concerned with how life continues after such a tragedy. The book spans a thirty year period, moving from present to past, back and forth from character to character each giving us just a bit of insight always moving forward never back.
Idaho is beautifully written book but, challenging as it does not move in the direction you expect, it will move you from comfort zone.