CBR Bingo – Violence
Tis the season to be a little spooked! Full scaredy cat disclosure: I am not a huge horror fan, completely eschewing the genre in both film and television, but I can get down with some scary books. Maybe it’s because my imagination isn’t as vivid as images on the screen, so sometimes I like to live on the literary edge. Many of my friends are big into having the bejeebus scared out of them, so good for a recommendation, which is where I found this delightful book.
The opening chapters set the stage for frights. Adelaide’s parents are dead (and bloodied) by whose hand we don’t know, and she is leaving their family farm with a heavy trunk and a dark family secret as she travels to Montana to start over and establish her own homestead in the wilderness.
Once I got past the initial horror of the opening, the story settled down for a while, so much so that when the next violent thing happened I had forgotten I was reading a scary book, which was jarring in the best way possible. Also, there is a slow revealing of the contents inside the trunk which is very compelling.
Spoilery headscratcher bit: There was a transgender plot point: my friend and I had different opinions of its efficacy, I thought it was good representation and interesting to the story, but she thought it was sort of cheaply shoehorned in as a plot device. Not sure where the line is between good representation and giving lip service, but that’s an open question for you to decide.
Beyond Adelaide there is a cast of other memorable characters: a family of thieves, Bertie, the only other black woman in town, and the pious and kindly townspeople (are they?) As the title indicates there are a number of “lone women,” fighting hard to survive in unforgivable terrain and circumstances, which was great to read about through a veil of historical fiction.
If you are looking for a bit of a fright, check out this book!