Feb 25, 2010

Book Review: Hunter's Moon by Don Hoesel

"Seventeen years. It was a long time no matter how one parsed it. Four years of college, thirteen years of marriage, seven novels of varying quality, on literary award, two short stories in The New Yorker, and one dog. A lot of water under the bridge. He was tempted to ignore the summons to attend his grandfather's funeral. Sal wouldn't know if he showed up or not. As was so often mentioned, funerals we for those left behind. And CJ was not close to a single one of these orphans of truncated lineage. He'd missed other deaths, along with births, marriages, family reunions, and his brother's swearing-in ceremony for his state senate seat. He wondered why this should be any different. Why couldn't he stay in Tennessee and send a card and flowers across the miles?

It was a question he couldn't answer, except to suspect that his father's call had caught him in a vulnerable spot. The dissolution of his marriage, the destruction of his reputation with the literary community, the situation with his dog - all were good reasons to decide to do something he'd told himself he'd never do." Hunter's Moon, pg 55.

CJ's favorite relation has just died, and although he has promised himself he never would, he is headed back to his childhood home in Up State New York. None of his family is glad to see him, especially not his brother Graham. Graham is setting to run for a Senate Seat in the National Election, but CJ has uncovered a secret that could ruin Graham's campaign. And some secrets are worth killing over.

Hunter's Moon is a story full of danger and intrigue. CJ finds himself in a tough spot as he learns how to forgive those who have hurt him the worst. Though the story as a whole was fascinating, I found the pacing to be a little off. Hoesel's characters spend a lot of time in introspection, giving us a very intimate look into their personal thoughts. I appreciated the change in the main character, but I wasn't thrilled about all the smoking, drinking and violence that went on in the book. I felt that those things, while giving the book and interesting feel, distracted from my enjoyment of the story to a certain extent.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.)

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