One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time.
But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.
In a story told from multiple perspectives and in razor-sharp prose, we gradually learn more about this act, and the way its violence, love and memory reverberate through the life of every character in Idaho.
About the Author
Emily Ruskovich grew up in the Idaho Panhandle, on Hoodoo mountain. Her fiction has appeared in Zoetrope, One Story and The Virginia Quarterly Review. A winner of a 2015 O. Henry Award and a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, she now teaches creative writing at the University of Colorado Denver. Idaho is her first novel.
"Writing that has the cool sharpness of lemonade... Unflinching, unfrilly, multi-layered storytelling that is both beautiful and devastating" -- Rachel Joyce
"Hauntingly brilliant, this book will stay with you for days after you've put it down" * Evening Standard, Books of the Year *
"You're in masterly hands here... will remind many of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping... wrenching and beautiful" * New York Times Book Review *
"From the first page it is clear that Ruskovich's poetic, spare writing would be enough to compel on its own, but this extraordinary story of a violent event that decimates a young family in northern Idaho is the true engine here. It's a puzzle that enthrals from the outset." -- Lucy Clark * Guardian *
"It's a set-up that reads straight out of the darkest of psychological thrillers ... That an act of such brutality inspires storytelling as beautiful as this is reason enough for this debut novel to stand out from the crowd" * Independent *