I usually avoid literary fiction as I often find it more concerned with style and cleverness than with story telling.
But I’m glad I took a chance on this book. While often brutal, and with a stylized narrative, I found the book captivating, haunting and (added bonus for literary fiction) warm. The characters are vivid, especially Thomas, in whose voice the story is told, and they lived with me long after I finished the book.
While this is in no way a romance, the enduring and romantic love between two hard men, soldiers who have committed acts of horrific violence, sits at the heart of this book. It lifts it from a grim recounting of the brutality of 19th century America to a story of hope, endurance and redemption.