Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

Loved one. She has read these words many times in such books, even in very scientific books not seeking to comfort but to inform. Ann is always moved by the tender ambiguity. Loved one, the faceless, sexless, helpless focus of her heart: A loved one is the person you will lose.

Each chapter of this novel by Emily Ruskovich is told from the perspective of a person who has either been directly or indirectly impacted by a traumatic incident in the mountains of Idaho. Ruskovich was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author, which makes this a book that fits into my category of “the first book from an author.” It also fits into my category of “a book a friend recommends,” and in this case we both agreed and disagreed about certain aspects of the book. She and I both agree that the ambiguity surrounding a lot of key moments in the novel makes it more beautiful and realistic because it gives the reader a way to immerse themselves in the characters and the plot in a way that is personal to them. On the other hand, my friend thought that there was a spark of happiness at the end which I just didn’t feel. I honestly wanted the book to end a little earlier than it did.

What I can say for certain is that Emily Ruskovich’s style of writing is both eloquent and haunting. When reading the novel you cannot deny the poetry and love that she pours into each of the characters. You may or not be happy with everything that happens, but you will miss out on the overall stunning impact this book has on the fiction/mystery genre if you don’t give the book a chance.

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