Read Dalva by Jim Harrison Online


LIBRARIAN'S NOTE: This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN: 0-671-74067-9.From her home on the California coast, Dalva hears the broad silence of the Nebraska prairie where she was born, and longs for the son she gave up for adoption years before. Beautiful, fearless, tormented, at 45 she has lived a life of lovers and adventures. Now, Dalva begins a journey that will tLIBRARIAN'S NOTE: This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN: 0-671-74067-9.From her home on the California coast, Dalva hears the broad silence of the Nebraska prairie where she was born, and longs for the son she gave up for adoption years before. Beautiful, fearless, tormented, at 45 she has lived a life of lovers and adventures. Now, Dalva begins a journey that will take her back to the bosom of her family, to the half-Sioux lover of her youth, and to a pioneering great-grandfather whose journals recount the bloody annihilation of the Plains Indians. On the way, she discovers a story that stretches from East to West, from the Civil War to Wounded Knee to Vietnam -- and finds the balm to heal her wild and wounded soul....

Title : Dalva
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13497383
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 324 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dalva Reviews

  • Tony
    2018-12-04 23:16

    Embedded in this brilliant novel is this single poignant sentence:Back on the front porch, I saw her in the far corner of the yard, pushing an empty tire swing as if it held an imaginary child.Jim Harrison can raise a lump in your throat. By this point in the book we are already in love with Dalva. She is 45, beyond intelligent, fetching, equal parts sentimental and pragmatic. She is as self-sufficient as it is possible to be. She can, as they say, ride a horse. When she was a young girl, she fell hard for Duane Stone Horse - quite the young man but not necessarily the kind you wanted in your living room. The resultant child was taken from her, an adoption arranged. In this book, Dalva is searching for her son and searching for her history as well. It is America's history, not all parades and ruffles and flourishes. But it's so much more.----- ----- ----- ----- -----I woke yesterday, not hungover, but I hadn't slept well. I opened Dalva. Uncharacteristically, I had left my bookmark in the middle of a section, apparently worn out the night before right there. What followed was three pages that I think show why Harrison has such a purchase on my reading soul.Ruth arrived at the last minute before dinner, running late because she had been reading a book called Arctic Dreams and had been carried away...That stopped me. First, because Arctic Dreams (by Barry Lopez) is one of my favorite books. That will always get my attention. But I also loved the casual way Harrison brought it up. Never even mentioned the author's name. Just a little tip of the cap. (He makes a more cryptic reference to Peter Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard later, naming neither the author nor title.) But I also loved how it served its literary purpose. So many things could have made Ruth late: a flat tire, a phone call, an unexpected visitor. This reference wasn't for everyone. But for me, yes, I understood exactly why Ruth could be carried away and thus late.Ruth, Dalva's sister, was late for an impromptu dinner hosted by Uncle Paul. (Their father, Paul's brother, was killed in the Korean War). Paul has conspired to invite Fred, a neighbor, as a possible match for either Dalva or Ruth. This is Dalva's take on Fred:It turned out she (Ruth) rather liked Paul's neighbor, Fred, the divorced rancher. I felt noncommittal about him after a half-hour's chat; he wore slightly too much cologne, his informal ranch clothes were too precisely tailored and didn't seem quite comfortable, the sort of clothes a CEO would wear at a chuck-wagon outing at a Phoenix convention. He was terribly bright and knowledgeable, but lacked the "indentations," the unique character traits I look for in men. I imagined he ate donuts with a fork and folded his underpants. This trace of bitchiness in me reminded me of what my Santa Monica gynecologist friend had told me--that I was too "autolelic," i.e., I only did things for and of themselves and lacked an overall "game plan." At least with Fred there were no edges against which one could bruise--he had taken care of himself so well he'd likely grow old and die in a single minute when the time was appropriate.Irritated by Fred, Uncle Paul offers his own thoughts:"You can't make the desert represent a freedom you should have organized for yourself in your bedroom or living room. That's what is so otiose about nearly all nature writing. People naturally shed their petty and inordinate grievances in the natural world, then resume them when the sheer novelty dissipates. We always destroy wilderness when we make it represent something else, because that something else can always fall out of fashion. Freedom to the all-terrain-vehicle addict, the mining and oil and timber companies, has always meant the absolute license to do as they wish, while "heritage" is a word brought up by politicians to recall a virtue they can't quite remember. The only traceable heritage related to our use of the land is to exhaust it....Of course, on a metaphoric level the desert is an unfathomably intricate prison, and you may understandably wish to play with this fact, comparing it to your own life. By not letting places be themselves we show our contempt for them. We bury them in sentiment, then suffocate them to death in one way or another. I can ruin both the desert and the Museum of Modern Art in New York by carrying to them an insufferable load of distinctions that disallows actually seeing the flora and fauna or the paintings. Children are usually better at finding mushrooms and arrowheads because they are either ignorant or unwilling to carry the load."Embarrassed by his speech, Paul asks Ruth to "play something morose and sentimental" on the piano. Dalva watches:She began with a harpsichord imitation, lapsed into a polka, then slid into the Debussy she knew Paul favored. In turn he laughed, closed his eyes, then smiled. When I looked at him I couldn't help wondering what sort of man my father would have become.----- ----- ----- ----- -----I stopped and looked outside. The first frost was painting the grass. It would kill the basil but not the flowers. Not yet.I thought of love. I thought of history. I thought of my father. I thought of the magic of just three pages.This is supposed to be the Year of Reading Proust. I found Jim Harrison two months ago. It's late in the year, but I've compulsively made this my Year of Reading Harrison. Next year too.

  • Jeanette
    2018-12-11 21:25

    Three point five stars.There are several male authors who are generally regarded as having a great ability to write from the perspective of a female character. When I read these authors I disagree with the assessment, most notably because they fail to capture the true complexity that is the essence of being a woman. Jim Harrison is an exception. With the character of Dalva, he explores all the layers of conflict and identity that are part of growing up female in a patriarchal society.Dalva, at the age of 45, leaves California and returns to her native Nebraska. There she confronts all of her ghosts and finally recognizes that she has defined her entire life by the males she has loved and lost: her grandfather, father, first love, and then the son she was made to give up for adoption. As the book comes to an end, there's a glimmer of hope that she'll put the past to rest and start living for the present. The subplot deals with Dalva's Sioux heritage. She's only one-eighth Indian, but her white great-grandfather was a great friend of the Sioux and left many journals. The secrets are slowly revealed as a Stanford scholar works his way through the journals. This novel contains some excellent writing with uniquely expressed wisdom about society and life in general. I could not give it a higher rating because its construction is rather laborious and convoluted, making the reader work too hard to unearth the treasures.

  • David Guy
    2018-11-27 01:21

    Dalva is probably my favorite novel by the man who is most certainly my favorite living novelist, Jim Harrison. I've probably read it five times and just read it again because of a death in my family, and because Harrison in general always grounds me in life, and gives me a renewed appreciation for being alive.It's very hard to describe how he brings that about; I'm not sure I understand, something about the way he writes the sentences, the things he notices. I've read everything he's written--including essays and poetry--much of it multiple times, and he's the only author whose work I automatically read as soon as it comes out, as soon as I see the book in the bookstore. Some of his books are better than others, but I've never been disappointed by any Jim Harrison book.Dalva is the story of a woman who had a brief love affair with a young Native American man when she was fifteen, had his child and gave it away for adoption, and set about when she was older to see if she could find the child. I write that brief plot summary, but the book is so much more than that, her life is so much more than that. Dalva is interesting because she's a midwestern woman with inherited wealth who still does wonderful things with her life, lives as if she doesn't even have money. She has a wonderful mother, an interesting uncle, and is carrying on a kind of love affair with a history professor who is reading the notebooks that her grandfather kept; he too (like Dalva and her lover) was obesessed with Native Americans, and met many of the famous ones, ran into Custer right before Little Big Horn. It's impossible to suggest the richness of this or of any Jim Harrison novel. It's like trying to talk about the beauty of life. You just have to live it, and with Harrison, you just have to read it.

  • Kirk Smith
    2018-12-05 20:12

    An unflinching look at the United States Indian Policy over the last two centuries. Through John Northridge's Journals(1865-1891)we are introduced to our country's brutal history, and the genocide of the American Indians. John Northridge is Dalva's great grandfather and she is partial inheritor of his vast estate and caretaker of his journals and historical artifacts.* Dalva chooses Michael, a friend and love interest, to write her family history and share Northridge's journals with the world at large. All of this is occurring 1970's through 1980's.* CHAPTER 1 'Dalva', has her as the narrator. She is willful, directed, spiritual, athletic, independent, benevolent, cultural, graceful, and a mid-westerner with American Indian heritage.* CHAPTER 2 'Michael' is his narration. He is a self-absorbed Stanford historian with these characteristics: trite, petty, pretentious, self destructive, panty waist, non-outdoorsman, gluttonous, neurotic, Eastern Bloc heritage from an American urban jungle.* CHAPTER 3 'Going Home'. Are they "together"? Are they doing it?? NO DALVA!,he's not right for you!!....You will have to pursue this to find out.** Harrison covers plot, place and characterization like the pro that he is. More than just historical novel, epic family history, fictional biography, tallying of Dalva's lovers, this story entertains as well as educates. A bit of a lengthy tale, I can't avoid comparing Harrison with Wallace Stegner.

  • Robert
    2018-11-19 19:03

    Maybe it just fits my mood, but I'll call Dalva one of the top 10 American novels ever written. Stark landscapes, warm people and cold selfish motivation. Most accurate depiction of the plains I've ever read.

  • Rachel
    2018-11-27 21:07

    It is unbelievable how much I love this book. I drool when thinking of it. I love Harrison's smooth, delicious writing and the language and feeling of the West comes out in every page. I love Dalva's character and her remembrances. This is totally the book for me and I have gone on to read tons more of Jim Harrison except his food book which is...boring.

  • Unbridled
    2018-12-02 23:19

    This is my first book by Jim Harrison. First, Harrison is a very good writer. He has all the moves, he knows what he is doing, and he does what he does as well as anyone else. This book was warm, occasionally wise, often amusing (particularly Michael and Lundquist), and threaded with enough 'adventure' (the Northridge diaries) to keep a reader committed to seeing how everything will end. The bad? The structure of the novel didn't really work for me - part 1, Dalva's 1st person journal to her son; part 2, Michael's 1st person diary; and part 3, more of Dalva's 1st person narrative - except she is no longer writing to her son (or did I miss something?). This was by no means fatal, but it did seem loose to me as an idea. I also found myself bored by more than a few passages in part 3 - like Dalva's fevered dreaming. Nevertheless, I admire this effort by Harrison. I questioned - and still question - whether he could capture a true female voice. I think he failed because he channeled what a man's-man kind of woman might think and feel and look like. For the record, she's hot, has always been hot, and even at the forbidden line of 45 years young, every type of man desires her openly (she has a young lover in image-obsessed Santa Monica, of course). She eats big, drinks big; she eats steak (alone); she is sexually liberated (but no whore); she is kind to fools; she is loyal to her heart; she rides horses hard in the country; she skinny-dips in bodies of water; and she is a camper who sleeps naked under the stars. It is not my intent to sound snarky - this is how we know Dalva, in her own voice. As to the 'surprise(s)' at the end of the book? Well, they're a's-man melodramatic...but they work well enough. I started this book without any preconceptions - and through most of the book I was engaged. Was I moved? No. Did I feel myself in the presence of genius? No. Did I 'believe' Dalva was real? No. Do I still admire Harrison's effort? I said that already. This is a good book.

  • Pauline
    2018-11-28 21:06

    J’ai bien aimé le style de l’auteur et les belles descriptions de la nature et le caractère de Dalva, une femme forte, indépendante et vulnérable à la fois. Je n’ai pas trop aimé le narrateur de la 2e partie, un mec sexiste et glauque. Et j’ai retrouvé quelque chose qui m’embête un peu avec le nature writing : à trop se concentrer sur la nature, on en oublie parfois l’intrigue… c’est le but du genre mais comme ce n’est pas du tout mon genre de prédilection ça m’a gênée. Je ne regrette pas de l’avoir lu, c’était un challenge intellectuel, mais je ne pense pas que je le recommanderais à des non-adeptes du nature writing.

  • DavidVeloz
    2018-12-04 21:24

    Admittedly I began the book with a little dread. I just finished Wolf, Harrison’s first novel and one I’d first read in graduate school in 1988. I have carried a high opinion of Harrison ever since, but now I had to wonder why? What I liked about it at 26 left me cold at 53, so I was prepared for a similar reaction to Dalva, especially since Harrison would be writing in the first person as a woman, and I’d happily wash out early. But Dalva is a marvel — both the book and the character. Dalva is in her mid-40s and living in Santa Monica and working as a social worker when we meet her. But as the novel unfolds, we realize this barely her at all: Part Sioux, Dalva is the great-granddaughter of a famed missionary and horticulturist who was more of a convert to the Sioux than a converter. He took a young Sioux wife and managed to find himself in the middle of much of the terrible destruction of the Sioux and their way of life at the hands of the United States military. He also had a great deal of land. As such, Dalva is not only rich with history, she’s plain rich; when she returns to her family home in Northern Nebraska to search for the son she had with her 16 year old Sioux boyfriend, she brings along Michael, an alcoholic professor and her sometime lover, who has been granted the opportunity to read & publish Great-Grandfather Northridge’s personal letters. Harrison lets Dalva narrate the first and second third of the book, while Michael takes over in the middle. Harrison also includes long passages from Northridge’s journals, so what starts out as a disarmingly prim and undistinguished story is actually the opposite. Harrison writes beautifully as Dalva as she navigates her life today and as she recalls the events of the past forty years that have formed her; while Michael is a comical, annoying academic, Harrison still invests him with a wry wit, pathos, and some surprising insight about Dalva and her family. Northridge’s letters are a mixture of 19th century benevolent naiveté and a more modern scientific doggedness. These three streams of voice and time become a fast and loud river that is as much about the Sioux and their destruction as it is about Dalva and her sorrows and solace.

  • Lindsay
    2018-12-08 17:01

    "Dalva" required a bit of endurance--at least, it did for me. The story centers around Dalva, a woman with a complicated history, an equally complicated present, and a rich family history that plays a secondary (and more interesting, in my opinion) role in the novel. Two-thirds of the story are from her narrative point of view, while the middle third is told from the POV of Michael, Dalva's sometimes-lover and an historian working on Dalva's family's past via some journals Dalva has.Dalva's parts are interesting--she's a complex character with a lot going on and a lot that she hasn't yet figured out, despite being in her 40s. Chief among her complications is a recently enacted search for the son she gave up for adoption, but I honestly didn't feel like that was the point of the book so much as a gateway into her voice. I found Michael to be insufferable (and I think he was written too deliberately as such to be felt as anything else), and when I hit his POV in the second third of the book I admit I procrastinated because I knew I wouldn't enjoy it--and I was right. I liked him even less by the time we switched back to Dalva's point of view for the remainder of the story.The MOST interesting parts of the book, to me, were the journal entries. They tell a rich and violent history of the Native Americans being taken over by the white man, and they were fascinating and awful--more so because we know from history that what was written about in the journals actually happened, or things like them. It was like a nonfiction piece nestled inside a larger fiction, and though it made for copious amounts of bouncing through time, I was captivated.So, overall, I give the book a solid "like," though I am glad to be done. I don't know that I'll read it again, but the history in it makes it worth at least one read.

  • Kim
    2018-11-25 20:11

    This is one of my favorite books. I read it while in my 20s, single, having lots of passion and adventure, falling in love and having broken hearts, piecing together jobs, rent, moving over and over, and college....this book was like my doppelgänger as well as my comfort and re-focus guide. It helped my wounded heart heal, celebrated my independent spirit and my adventures, and gently whispered to me about the right path to aim toward. Like a good big sister. Hard to believe a man wrote it, but very telling about the way some men see women's issues from a different and sometimes clearer perspective.

  • Fionnuala
    2018-12-05 18:28

    "What do stories do when they are not being told?" (Cree question p 307)I'm reminded of the age-old story of Pygmalion who created a beautiful statue of a woman and became so obsessed with it that it took on a life of its own. Or was that Galatea...

  • Justin
    2018-11-11 23:07

    Wow, what a great book. I'm hesitant to broadly label books written by Americans, or even those written about America, as containers of American culture, but there are certain, rare works of literature which seem to contain the essence of what I feel is my American heritage. Steinbeck's East of Eden is one of these books, and so is Dalva. Harrison brings a landscape and its people so vividly to life, that they come to inhabit the reader; they become real people and places that are added to our own lived experience.I must commend Harrison, as well, on doing an amazing job in writing a believable female narrator. It's not easy to create a lifelike character, let alone one of the opposite sex. I don't know how he did it, but Dalva just comes to life as she narrates her tale. She's strong, thoughtful, troubled, and resplendent in all her idiosyncrasies. Nonetheless, I would be interested to see what women think of her, and if they find her believable.As for the prose, it is wonderfully understated and deeply moving in a way that doesn't force itself upon you. Like a pleasant painting, it simply presents itself as what it is and lets you just enjoy it. The story is emotional at times, and intensely troubling at others. Most of us want to ignore, forget, or remain ignorant of the deceitful manner in which our ancestors swindled and murdered the Native American peoples; this book refuses to let you do so. It remains of very sad and disturbing point in our ongoing history, and Harrison does a great job of using fiction to bring these stories to life in an especially effecting manner. It's not always pleasant, but it's something that bears telling.This is a superb piece of American literature and I can't recommend it highly enough.

  • Orrin Laferte
    2018-11-19 17:21

    Dalva is the first of a two part examination of a well to do but vaguely dysfunctional multi-generational family living in rural Nebraska during the early twentieth century. By weaving the same story multiple times from the viewpoint of different family member narrators he paints an interesting picture of the effects of a benevolent tyrant on successive generations. Harrison's love and understanding of Native Americans, especially the plains Indians, is an essential strand in the multiple strands of this narrative.

  • Jenna
    2018-12-02 22:13

    I wish I was this woman.

  • Rebecca Deaton
    2018-12-08 01:16

    Great story. Amazing, articulate prose. I learned I could love a writer who loves hunting, fishing and Michigan. Who knew?

  • Sarah
    2018-12-10 18:59

    This is hard to rate. Very little happens, and the middle third of the book was from the POV of Michael (although at least he spent a lot of time reading journals). Why was he in the novel in the first place? It's hard for me to even pinpoint his purpose. But I liked Dalva; this is not a novel with a lot of plot, but I enjoyed it because of her perspective. There is a sequel, but I don't know if I'll read it. I feel like the story ended at a place that is satisfying enough for me.

  • Trina
    2018-12-07 20:29

    There were things that annoyed me in reading this book, but they were overwhelmed by things I loved: interesting, mysterious, smart female protagonist; 19th c history of the Great Plains/front range of the Rockies; farms; horses; and above all Harrison’s beautiful, intelligent writing about people and landscape.

  • Annie
    2018-12-03 19:23

    Jim Harrison has joined the ranks of Wallace Stegner and Larry McMurtry as among my very favorite of the authors that write about the western US and it's history. It is another of those books that was such a profound experience reading, that I want to have time to just sit with it before I begin examining it and taking apart the three generational story it tells. There are a lot of layers packed in here. The one aspect I will comment on is the voice and character of Dalva. I always find it brave when men choose to write through a female narrator. There are a surprising number who do it quite well, Wally Lamb comes to mind. My first impression of Dalva was that much like the male heroes of the romance novels, he has created a female counterpart, a woman most men would desire and feel quite comfortable with, in other words, a bit of a male fantasy. She is more masculine in her actions and reactions than any woman I have known. I can honestly say I have never met a woman like her, but I also realized early on that in many ways I would like to be more like her. The whole family is quirky in a way that is intriguing without silliness or false notes. She became more believable and much more three dimensional as I learned more about her. Though she has close and loving relationships with her mother and sister, she is a woman whose life has been primarily affected and shaped by the men she encounters and the environment they live in, her father who dies young, her lover Duane, her lost son, her adoring grandfather and her uncle Paul who serves as surrogate father. She is molded and haunted by them all.So for now, I will just savour this beautiful book and indulge in the sequel. I can't wait to read more of this man's work.

  • Richard Jespers
    2018-12-01 18:08

    Dalva is named by her parents after a Portuguese song, “Estrella Dalva,” or “Morning Star.” It may suit Dalva throughout her life for she always seems to be up early enough to witness such thing. Always active, on the move. While still a teenager, Dalva falls for a half-Sioux man and makes love with him. When she becomes pregnant, she is sent off to have the baby and put it up for adoption. Dalva will never marry again, and she will never have another child. She begins a rather circuitous journey to find out who her son is. She doesn’t necessarily wish to meet him or become part of his life; she merely hopes to find out how he’s doing. Interwoven throughout this search is the buried story of her great-great grandfather, by way of his journals, that a young scholar, Michael, examines for his research. But always the narrative is about Dalva and her search for her son. The tragic story of the Sioux serves to inform Dalva of the wildness, perhaps, of her half-Sioux lover, the foretelling of what her son might be like, when she finally does meet up with him. And ironically, (thanks to artful writing) the meeting with her son comes near the end of the book. And it is brief. The book has been all about the journey. What happens to those two is now anyone’s guess. It could even become another story, for another time. The novel may, in the long run, become known more for its fair and stark retelling of the American West: how the original homeowners were duped out of their land forever.

  • Andy Miller
    2018-11-21 21:20

    Jim Harrison does a great job of jumping back and forth in time in this novel about Dalva and does an even better job of tying the different narratives(even those narrated by her sometimes boyfriend) bringing together her childhood, her family ancestry and present day adventures which lead her back to her Nebraska homeWe learn at the beginning that Dalva is a sympathetic strong woman when she intervenes in a terrible child abuse case putting the child's welfare and safety ahead of her own career. She then saves her boyfriend's career at Stanford by agreeing to give him(and Stanford) access to her great grandfather's journals of his experiences and contacts with the Plain Indians in the late 1800s--this sets the stage of her dysfunctional and hapless boyfriend going to central rural Nebraska to read the journals and we get to alternate between reading the journals themselves and seeing the boyfriend's often humorous attempts to integrate into his surrounding Nebraska lifeA great read

  • Cora
    2018-11-22 22:10

    yay i loved this book so much. it reminded me of barbara kingsolver only better. i love dalva, she is a classic woman to me with the ranching and horse sense and boldness and strength, but i know classic woman isn't a real anything. except she lied at the beginning of the book when she said she doesn't live in memories like most people. i understand though. and i wish i grew up riding horses and i was closer to my grandfather. such an interesting, creative story and man! harrison can really write for a woman. made me really really tangibly painfully miss the southwest.

  • Michael
    2018-11-27 19:26

    The story was not captivating or interesting for me to finish this. I thought the first part was decent but the second part was too boring to continue reading. The writing style was not the greatest, characters were weak and the plot was just overlapping everything. Dalva was the only thing that was interesting about this book but her traits did not save the hype of this book. I seen many rave reviews from this book, I fail to see the hype and failed to see why I bothered to give this a moment of time.

  • Diana
    2018-12-07 01:06

    I have always loved Jim Harrison and thought I would love this book. I found it so tasteful because Dalva, the title character, was a man in a woman's body, Harrison typically writes gripping and masculine tales and I think this was a difficult feat for him.

  • Lisa
    2018-11-11 22:22

    I disliked the book for the same reason another reader-author loved it. I thought Jim Harrison did not craft a believable voice for Dalva. It struck me as too much bedded in how many men see women.

  • Sara
    2018-11-19 21:27

    This book really excites me because Harrison is able to do so many things at once: imaginative storytelling/philosophy/history. His writing reads like a list of aphorisms (that aren't tiring) while plot sneaks in and unfolds.

  • Elle
    2018-11-29 19:26

    Classic Harrison.

  • Elisala
    2018-11-11 17:19

    Difficile d'écrire une note de lecture pour ce livre... Je commencerai donc par un bref historique. Jim Harrison, j'en avais entendu parler depuis pas mal de temps, j'avais vu des photos, et voilà je m'étais mis en tête qu'il écrivait des livres de cowboys, des livres bien gras de texans, qui vont seller leurs vaches et attraper leurs chevaux au lasso (ou peut-être l'inverse).Et puis pour une raison ou pour une autre, la curiosité sans doute, pour cet écrivain dont je voyais quand même des critiques partout, même dans des magasines féminin a priori peu orientés vers les histoires de cowboys texans, j'ai fini par emprunter Dalva à la bibliothèque... et là, roulement de tambour, éclair et coup de tonnerre dans la nuit, je découvre que je m'étais plantée du tout au tout, je découvre une écriture toute en sensibilité, toute en finesse, comme je les aime, qui vous emmène d'un personnage à un autre sans fausse note, une histoire incroyable qui se déroule comme si de rien n'était, qui nous porte à travers les pages, des personnages intelligents (ce qui n'est pas si souvent le cas) et auxquels on s'attache très vite, et puis une (unE!) héroïne (ce qui pour un auteur masculin peut se révéler casse-gueule) des plus attachantes, et tout cela avec un réalisme de bon aloi... Voilà un auteur que je prenais pour un cowboy lourdaud, qui décrit et nous fait partager des sentiments forts et qui le fait admirablement bien !Merci Mr. Jim Harrison, de m'avoir appris à ne pas juger un auteur à sa tête, de ne pas rester sur un a-priori un peu idiot. Vous résidez depuis cette lecture au panthéon des auteurs que j'admire, et même que j'aime, pour qui je pourrais me transformer en deux coups de cuillère à pot en fan hystérique du plus haut ridicule, mais avec un livre pareil, comment pourrais-je ne pas vous être éternellement reconnaissante? Peut-être que j'en fais un tout petit peu trop, mais ... non, en fait. Bien sûr, la fin de l'histoire, vous la connaissez, j'ai rendu le livre à la bibliothèque, et suis allée m'acheter un exemplaire à la fruck la plus proche, et puis je l'ai offert autour de moi, et continuerai sans doute à le faire, et j'ai maintenant la version anglaise qui m'attend gentiment sur ma bibliothèque et dans laquelle je me plongerai avec bonheur un de ces jours.

  • Penny
    2018-12-05 23:04

    This is an interesting novel with an excellent subtext of historical events, but with perhaps a bit of an overload on sexual situations, and the attitude is that sex is casual. As an aside I will mention that I was reading it on a Kindle and the last quarter of the book had a lot of editing mistakes – random apostrophes, misspellings, word divisions such as “N else” instead of “Nelse” which was a proper noun, but this might not have been so in the paper edition. Also there is a version of the “Custer” calamity which seems to be a favorite in novels. There is possibly a desire of the author to write travelogues, such as Paul’s long letter describing flora, fauna, landscapes, waterscapes – including later in the book the “Loreta Area.” The ending is obvious at some point and you are just waiting for the author to disclose it.But this writer can write. “It was barely light and there was a warm stiff breeze mixed with the odor of salt water, juniper, eucalyptus, oleander, palm. The ocean was rumpled and gray.”“There was the smell of ripe wheat, the sweating horses, and tobacco from Dad and the farmer.”“We spent the next three days in what Naomi called utter ‘frivolity,’ a word not used much anymore in a frivolous society.”“What we are, what we have done, what we have made, weighs as heavily and usually as unnoticeably as gravity weighs upon us. It is the historian’s job to study this unseeable gravity, to take core samples from the past and bring them to the quasi-light of the present.”“Then you study and walk and camp in the desert… and it becomes… heraldic, mysterious, stupefying, full of auras and ghosts, with the voices of those who lived there speaking from every petroglyph and pottery shard.”[loved all the author’s literary quotes, and especially anything of Lorca]“I looked upward from the gathering fire and thought of a line in an essay by Lorca, ‘the enormous night straining her waist against the Milky Way’.”

  • Lolo
    2018-12-11 17:13

    Un roman qu'il est difficile de classer ou de résumer. La narration est partagée entre Dalva, une femme américaine qui a pas mal bourlingué, et un ami historien, alcoolique et gaffeur, qui s'intéresse à sa famille. La famille de Dalva, c'est la trame du livre : on la découvre peu à peu depuis l'arrière-arrière-grand-père missionnaire avant et pendant le « traitement de la question indienne » dans le pays (au travers de journaux), jusqu'à un fils que Dalva n'a pas élevé, mais qu'elle aimerait retrouver. Cette famille américaine a pour particularité d'être légèrement métissée et de ne pas aborder les Indiens comme des ennemis ou des rebus, bien au contraire. Ce livre m'a donné envie de lire plus sur cette période sombre des États-Unis. Les personnages, l'écriture, l'articulation originale de la narration m'ont beaucoup plu !