The Removed

Ecco: HarperCollins. Feb. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780062997548. $26.99. F
Hobson follows up his National Book Award finalist Where the Dead Sit Talking with a multilayered, emotionally radiant second novel featuring the Echota family 15 years after the death of teenage son Ray-Ray, killed by a gun-ready police officer in an incident at the mall. His struggling mother, Maria; her Alzheimer’s-afflicted husband, Ernest; and their remaining children—obsessive daughter Sonja and drug-addicted Edgar—approach the anniversary of Ray-Ray’s death with an increasing sense of his presence and more broadly that of a mostly beneficent Spirit World. As effectively depicted in flashback, Ray-Ray was a remarkable young man, and his spirit is manifested by or through foster child Wyatt, who stays briefly with Maria and Ernest and proves singularly capable of lightening their emotional burdens. Meanwhile, Sonja engages in some risky dating behavior but with an ultimately arresting purpose, and she joins her parents in wishing that Edgar would return home for their annual commemoration of Ray-Ray on the anniversary of his death, which falls on the Cherokee National Holiday. But to return home, semi-estranged Edgar must pass through the mythical Darkening Land.
VERDICT Hobson uses Cherokee tradition and the Echotas’ story to amplify each other, blending past and present in a narrative of blistering loss and final healing. Highly recommended.
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Jeanne Hobson

A great read!

Posted : Dec 10, 2020 06:20




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