Book Review- The Removes

Thursday, 16 August 2018
Title: The Removes
Author: Tatjana Soli
Published: 12th June 2018
Pages: 371
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

Rating: 3/5 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author Tatjana Soli, an expansive and transfixing new novel set on the American frontier
Spanning the years of the first great settlement of the west, The Removes tells the intertwining stories of fifteen-year-old Anne Cummins, frontierswoman Libbie Custer, and Libbie’s husband, the Civil War hero George Armstrong Custer. When Anne survives a surprise attack on her family’s homestead, she is thrust into a difficult life she never anticipated—living among the Sioux as both a captive and, eventually, a member of the tribe. Libbie, too, is thrown into a brutal, unexpected life when she marries Custer. They move out to the territories with the U.S. Army, where Libbie is challenged daily and her worldview expanded: the pampered daughter of a small-town judge, she transforms into a daring camp follower. But when what Anne and Libbie have come to know—self-reliance, freedom, danger—is suddenly altered through tragedy and loss, they realize how indelibly shaped they are by life on the treacherous, extraordinary American plains.
With taut, suspenseful writing, Tatjana Soli tells the exhilarating stories of Libbie and Anne, who have grown like weeds into women unwilling to be restrained by the strictures governing nineteenth-century society. The Removes is a powerful, transporting novel about the addictive intensity and freedom of the American frontier. -Goodreads

My thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Net Galley for the ebook copy in return for an honest review.
This novel is described as 'expansive' and I would definitely agree with this description. It spans geographically wide expanses, is culturally diverse and expansive and features such different characters in such different situations. This is a credit to the author who handles such widely differing subject matter so deftly.
I have never read anything by Tatjana Soli before but I would be interested in reading other things by her because her ideas and imagination seems fascinating.
I don't know much about US history, so I can't really comment on the accuracy of this novel, but I did enjoy being able to learn more about General Custer, a character I only really knew by name beforehand.
The novel is made up of 3 narrative point of views; Anne, Libby and Autie. The narratives are interesting, and they all add different things to the novel, but I sometimes found that the narratives all read quite similarly, and I struggled to tell the characters apart on occasion.
A quick warning that this novel does feature quite a lot of violence, and bloody graphic violence at that, so be aware of this when considering the novel. I didn't find the violence to be too much, but that is very much a personal choice. In addition to the bloody violence, the novel itself is also quite an intense read. It has a lot of hard hitting scenes and features plenty difficult topics, and I found the novel to be way too heavy on occasion.
The other reason I didn't rate the novel any more than 3 stars was that it became tedious and repetitive at times. We spent a lot of time reading about menial moments in the characters lives, which became repetitive and dull, and for this reason the novel fell a bit flat.
Overall I think this is an interesting idea for a novel, but unfortunately the narrative was a tedious and dull read which dampened my enjoyment overall.

Happy reading!


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top