By Lin Enger
Little Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316006941, 308pp.
Publication Date: July 3, 2008
But would easygoing Harold Matson" really "kill himself? If so, why?
Haunted by the ghost of his father, Jesse delves into family secrets, wrestles with questions of justice and retribution, and confronts the nature of his own responsibility. And just when he's decided that he alone must shoulder his family's burden, the beautiful and troubled Christine Montez enters his life, forcing him to reconsider his plans.
In spare, elegant prose, Lin Enger tells the story of a young man trying to hold his family together in a world tipped suddenly upside down. Set among pristine lakes and beneath towering pines, "Undiscovered Country "is at once a bold reinvention of Shakespeare's "Hamlet "and a hair-bristling story of betrayal, revenge, and the possibilities of forgiveness.
"[The] combination of gritty realism
and poetic landscape portraiture...create a new story of betrayal, adolescent
confusion and loyalty."
"Lin Enger's first novel brings the heft of Shakespearean drama to the north woods of Minnesota. In a cleanly-elegant narrative, Enger weaves a winter's tale of betrayal and ghosts, of one son's debt to his father and the wages of vengeance. For the reader, Undiscovered Country is the best kind of discovery-a riveting first novel that's a genuine page turner, and an author whose work bears watching."
"This is a novel of luminous sentences that carry us across a landscape of love and loss to a deeper understanding of our own lives, and of our desire to be forgiven and redeemed. It is a joy to read."
"Lin Enger starts Undiscovered Country with a literal bang and continues to ratchet up the tension. His characters are vivid and complex, and his descriptions of northern Minnesota in winter are astonishing. This retelling of a Shakespearean tragedy is powerful and engrossing."
"At once both otherworldly and shockingly real, Undiscovered Country reinvents the conundrum of love and loss facing a modern-day Hamlet. This first novel by Lin Enger is sincerely rendered and honestly invoked. Such results promise more to come."
"With flashes of prose as crisp and haunting as the frozen Minnesota setting."