The Wake of Forgiveness

By Bruce Machart
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547521947, 309pp.)

Publication Date: June 2011

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Description

Reminiscent of Kent Haruf and Cormac McCarthy, Bruce Machart’s debut novel is a dark family saga set in the American Southwest.

 

On a moonless Texas night in 1895, an ambitious young landowner suffers the loss of “the only woman he’s ever been fond of” when his wife dies during childbirth with the couple’s fourth son, Karel. The boy is forever haunted by thoughts of the mother he never knew, by the bloodshot blame in his father’s eyes, and permanently marked by the yoke he and his brothers are forced to wear to plow the family fields. From an early age, Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors. In the winter of 1910, Karel rides in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters: hanging in the balance are his father’s fortune, his brothers' futures, and his own fate.




About the Author
BRUCE MACHART is the author of The Wake of Forgiveness. His fiction has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, Story, One Story and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in Best Stories of the American West. A graduate of the MFA program at Ohio State University, Machart is Assistant Professor of English at Bridgewater State University, and he lives in Hamilton, Massachusetts.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The book opens with Karel’s birth, which is also the occasion of his mother’s death. How does this change the family dynamic? How does it introduce the themes of guilt and shame and how do you see these themes continue throughout the book?

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