A New Review: Winter in the Blood by James Welch

I reviewed James Welch's 1974 novel Winter in the Blood over on the reviews section of the website. Here's the first couple paragraphs of the review:

Winter in the Blood begins its first lines filled with death. The first paragraph is filled with heavy imagery of barrenness and isolation, death and decay. There is “burnt grass”; the “roof had fallen in and the mud between the logs had fallen out”; “leaving a bare gray skeleton”; and “a rectangle of barbed wire held the graves of all the Earthboys.” Immediately, as well, an image of a white man marks him as an aggressor, violent, and jealous; a white man who displaces the narrator and fashions the narrator as enemy.

“Coming home was not easy anymore.” The narrator finds himself at odds with his own home, his own identity on his own land. A sense of apathy fills the narrator which adds to the isolation: “I felt no hatred, no love, no guilt, no conscience, nothing but a distance that had grown through the years.” The countryside adds to the “distance” too, “deep as it was empty, and the people accepted and treated each other with distance.”

Admittedly a little long at around 1,000 words, the review looks at how Welch dealt with isolation and death in his characters and turned it around giving hope to the narrator. It's an interesting novel with a lot of meaning held deep within its pages. Read the review, read the novel, then share your thoughts on the book with me. There are so many ways to read literature that I'm sure I've missed important aspects to the work. Buy the book at IndieBound.