This stunning debut novel by O. Henry Prize winner Emily Ruskovich is “full of extraordinary women and men overcoming extraordinary loss through love and forgiveness,” in the words of Hannah Tinti.
Ann and Wade have carved out a living for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho, but they are bound together by more than love. From the beginning, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to the family that came before her. In a story told from multiple perspectives—those of Ann, Wade, and Wade’s first wife, Jenny, now in prison for murder—and in exquisite, razor-sharp prose, we gradually learn of the shocking act that originally brought Ann and Wade together, and which reverberates through the lives of every character in Idaho.
Advance praise for Idaho
“Emily Ruskovich’s Idaho is a novel written like music: striking arpeggios, haunting refrains, and then you come to a bridge, and Ruskovich leads you up into the mountains, introducing a chorus of rich and beautiful voices woven deep in the Idaho woods. Ruskovich digs deeply into everyday moments and shows that it is there, in our quietest thoughts and experiences, where we find and create our true selves.”—Hannah Tinti
“In Emily Ruskovich’s wizardly vision, Idaho is both a place and an emotional dimension. Haunted, haunting, her novel winds through time, braiding events and their consequences in the most unexpected and moving ways.”—Andrea Barrett
“It’s been six years since I first read Emily Ruskovich’s breathtaking prose, felt the force of her unsparing imagination, and knew I was in the presence of a singular talent. I’ve been waiting for the novel she would write ever since, and now it’s here. Idaho begins with a rusted truck and ends up places you couldn’t imagine. Its language is an enchantment, its vision brutal and sublime. This book is interested in what can’t be repaired and every kind of grace we find in the face of that futility. It caught and held me absolutely.”—Leslie Jamison
“Emily Ruskovich has written a poem in prose, a beautiful and intricate homage to place, and a celebration of the defeats and triumphs of love. Beautifully crafted, emotionally evocative, and psychologically astute, Idaho is one of the best books I have read in a long time.”—Chinelo Okparanta
“Emily Ruskovich has intricately entwined a terrifying human story with an austere and impervious setting. The result—something bigger than either—is beautiful, brutal, and incandescent.”—Deirdre McNamer
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From the Hardcover edition.