"You must have a place to which you can go in your heart, your mind, or your house, almost everyday, where you do not owe anyone and where no one owes you--a place that simply allows for the blossoming of something new and promising."
- Joseph Campbell
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Brave / Review
Author: Nicholas Evans
Hardcover: 368 pages Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
(October 12, 2010) ISBN-10: 0316033782
There's little love in eight-year-old Tom Bedford's life. His parents are old and remote and the boarding school they've sent him to bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. The only comfort he gets is from his fantasy world of Cowboys and Indians. But when his sister Diane, a rising star of stage and screen, falls in love with one of his idols, the suave TV cowboy Ray Montane, Tom's life is transformed. They move to Hollywood and all his dreams seem to have come true. Soon, however, the sinister side of Tinseltown casts its shadow and a shocking act of violence changes their lives forever. What happened all those years ago remains a secret that corrodes Tom's life and wrecks his marriage. Only when his estranged son, a US Marine, is charged with murder do the events resurface, forcing him to confront his demons. As he struggles to save his son's life, he will learn the true meaning of bravery.
Powerfully written and intensely moving, The Brave traces the legacy of violence behind the myth of the American West and explores our quest for love and identity, the fallibility of heroes and the devastating effects of family secrets.
Many will remember the author's best-selling book "The Horse Whisperer," with fondness. Nicholas Evans fans will find "The Brave" fascinating, as well.
The book starts with young Tom visiting his mother before she is to go to the gas chamber, then moves back and forth with ease, giving us bits of his life and the relationships he struggles with. In the end, Tom, fighting to save the life of his son, Danny, finds courage and reconciliation.
The story is told with skill by a master novelist--bold, complex, engrossing, larger-than-life. I highly recommend "The Brave."
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.)