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And the award for best characterisation goes to....,
This review is from: Boone's Lick (Hardcover)
A coming of age tale, an arduous quest and a love story wrapped up in a novella - what more does a reader require? The characterisation is fabulous - even the mules and the babies in this story are fully drawn and individualised. The voice of the narrator, Shay, a 15-year old growing up in the wilds of Missouri is pitch perfect: "Only yesterday, I'd been a boy, with nothing on my mind except watching my brother fish for crawdads, or my uncle shoot the heads off of turtles. Now the sun was just rising... and here I was an armed man, riding off with other armed men, to kill or be killed." Larry M likes a strong woman who makes her own rules. Shay's Ma, Mary Margaret, is the supposed heroine of the tale, an outspoken, gun-toting matriarch who drags her children and aged father from near starvation in backwoods Missouri to find her priapic husband just so she can tell him she's leaving. She is upstaged by her half sister Rose, a fun-loving whore and her daughter Neva, who achieves a glittering career as translator and author, and who ricochets merrily from husband to husband, on her own terms, and without suffering the traditional consequences. "Every two or three years, somone would arrive from the dock or the railroad station with a small child for us...'Ma, this is Ben - do your best. Neva' or 'Ma, this is Little Bat. Good luck'. Hugely entertaining read, highly recommended.