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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, detailed, beautiful grit, April 14 2011
This review is from: Into The Heart Of The Country (Hardcover)
I had read one of Holdstock's previous novel (Beyond Measure) that impressed me (though I found the gore in that book occasionally tough to take). Into the Heart of the Country seems like a completely different kind of novel. Holdstock's attention to detail and accuracy remains, though the treatment of the content seems much more in tune with the feel of the setting--a sparsely populated and unforgiving New World. The story itself is part tragedy of human hubris, the fallacy that man can conquer nature, and part love/conflict story between members of two grossly different civilizations. Holdstock's treatment of the historical figures is delicate, withholding judgement on actions that seemed (to me) appalling. Further, I think her portrayal of Individual thoughts, motivations, and language seems genuine. Often in Historical Fiction authors project their own language conventions or beliefs onto characters whose language style and thoughts would have been shaped by vastly different circumstances hundreds of years ago. However, Holdstock seems to deftly capture dialogue and internal thoughts in a way that seems genuine and does not demand much effort to suspend disbelief. While reading, my only serious complaint was about the ending, which (without spoiling it) I felt could have been treated more compassionately (though this may be an indication of my own emotional involvement with the story ;). A fantastic read for those who enjoy accurate and gripping historical fiction!
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