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The Kept

The Kept [Kindle Edition]

James Scott
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.99
Kindle Price: £5.69 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


"Winter and discontent... Scott is the master of mood... Haunting'" New York Times Book Review "A classically written crime novel that is also an atmospheric evocation of a bygone era." The Sunday Times "Reads with the stark clarity of a Johnny Cash song" Washington Post "Feels like the shell of a Cormac McCarthy novel filled with the intricate yearning and familial strife of a Lorca play. A gripping combination I don't think we're likely to find anywhere else." The Rumpus "Darkly beautiful... The Kept is a rare blend of brutality and empathy, emotion and close observation. I thought at times of Cormac McCarthy's work and of the novels of David Vann. At other times it brought to mind Stef Penney's The Tenderness Of Wolves and Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain. But there's something wonderfully distinctive about The Kept... A literary page-turner of the highest calibre by a writer of serious talent." -- Jonathan Lee, author of JOY

Book Description

How far would you go for your family, for love, for survival, for revenge?

A debut novel of big skies, deep snow, and open wounds, the ambition and sheer brilliance of The Kept is astonishing.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1120 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (13 Feb 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #210,653 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Denis Vukosav TOP 100 REVIEWER
"The Kept" written by James Scott is a story about wrong moves, repentance and redemption, at times dark, sad and even shocking, but ultimately wise and full of hope that speaks from its pages.

Elspeth Howell after being several months away from home is coming back to her husband and five children. But when she'll get closer to home, Elspeth will see that something is wrong, no sounds of life, no lights, no anything except the ominous silence.
She will found out that almost her whole family has been brutally murdered and before she can even fully realize what happened, the only remaining son, Caleb, who was hiding in the pantry, mistakenly shoot her thinking that the killers have returned.
Once she will recover, the two of them will embark on a journey of revenge, seeking justice for their beloved ones. Both Caleb and Elspeth are driven by their will of retaliation, though Elspeth suspects that there may have been a reason for the brutal slaughter her family experienced.

During their journey mother and son will find something they didn't expect - the answers to some questions that have for long time long troubled them and some hidden deep truths.
And most importantly, from this tragedy, Caleb and Elspeth, the only ones left of their sad family will manage to build their relationship, finally achieving closeness between themselves...

"The Kept" is a great book that is difficult to assume that it was written by debutant author - a heartless world that he presented, motives of guilt, repentance and redemption, already making this work one of the novels that will mark this year, and certainly foretell that before this author is bright future.
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Format:Kindle Edition
This book just blew me away, what a dark, atmospheric emotional novel this is, absolutely unique from anything I have read for a long time. It will stay with me for a while, I still keep thinking back on this book and it's characters. It's haunting and it's haunting me.

What's the book about?

It is the winter of 1897. Elspeth Howell returns to her isolated snow-bound farm to find her family brutally killed. Only her son Caleb has survived and, thinking that the murderers have returned, he shoots his mother.

With her chest bound and Caleb at her side, Elspeth sets out to find the men who committed this heinous crime. But as they get closer to the perpetrators, Caleb discovers his mother has a truly terrible secret and Elspeth finally begins to understand its hideous consequences.

My Review:

Where do I begin? Firstly, let me tell you this is not a fast paced action packed book, it moves slowly, beautifully, surrounds you, pulls you in and gently takes you with it. The writing is sublime, just magnificent. I am baffled at the low reviews this book is getting.

So Elspeth Howell and her only remaining child Caleb set out to hunt the men who killed the family in cold blood, Caleb is twelve years old yet has so much maturity and depth to him as a character, he has the heart of child, but at times the hardness of life makes him almost a man. He has his heart set on revenge, revenge for the slaughter of his family that were killed before his very eyes.

She sounded like death: as if her life was being pulled from her body forcibly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Had Me Transfixed 7 Feb 2014
This book had me transfixed from beginning to end. I found it a slow read but I literally had to force myself to put it down each night and did actually fall asleep reading as it just got too darn late. Set in 1897, up-state New York, an amazing opening scene grabbed me and had me hooked that I knew right away this was going to be my kind of book. What starts off as a tale of vengeance ends up one of redemption. Caleb, a 12 year old boy, is always the main character and he pulled my heart strings from the get go. I have a 13 year old son and was able to compare and contrast the difference in the times but still be aware of the innate mindset of twelve years of age. Very shortly after the book starts it is often hard to remember that Caleb is only 12 and I often started thinking of him as 16 or so; the author seems to be allowing the reader to do so by only very infrequently bringing back a mention of his real age which throws the reader for a loop reminding themselves of this and what this boy is being asked to do and how he is coping with the situation. Much further on in the book, things change and we are constantly reminded of his age and there is purpose to this as well. Elspeth, the mother, is an unlikable character but one grows to understand her, wonder at a woman's lot in this era where no psychiatric help was available, where it was the woman's fault if no children were born, and if a baby girl came first she was told to have a boy next time. Elpseth is responsible for her own actions though and by tale's end redemption is all she can, and does, ask for. I loved this book. It was atmospheric, dark, moody, and well-written. However, as soon as I finished the book I knew it would get mixed reviews and even some bad reviews. Read more ›
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