Inland: A Novel

by Tea Obreht

Paperback, 2020

Call number

FIC OBE

Collection

Publication

Random House Trade Paperbacks (2020), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages

Description

"In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives collide. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman, alone in a house abandoned by the men in her life -- her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her two older sons, who have gone in search of their father after his return is delayed. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, a boy with a bad eye who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home, and a seventeen year old maid named Josie, her husband's cousin who communes with spirits. Lurie is the son of a dead dockworker, a former outlaw, and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires an epic journey across the West."--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member nbmars
This novel is set in the 1890s in the Arizona Territory, portrayed here as a harsh and violent place in which the primary law is one of survival. The imperatives of subsistence dominate the lives of the characters, who struggle for livelihoods, love, and perhaps most of all, water. But the dead are
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also featured in this book; they continue to haunt the spaces where they died, and make demands on the living. They all came to the West to chase dreams or escape failures, and settlers who died earlier haunt those who came after them.

The story slowly weaves together two plot strands told by quite different narrators. Lurie is an immigrant from the Balkans, variously identified as a Turk or a Levantine, or “a weird little monkey. ” He claims that choices he makes in his life are dictated not by his own will, but by the dead who surround him, and who find him a particularly receptive vessel for their wants and needs. Lurie was briefly a criminal (stealing in response to imperatives from a dead friend) until he joined up with the U.S. Camel Corps. [This was an actual experiment by the U.S. Army in using camels as pack animals in the arid and inhospitable Southwestern United States. You can read more about it on this website.]

The camel Lurie adopted, Burke, is also a character in the book. The camels impress everyone who encounters them: “Their eyelids are thatched with the loveliest lashes God ever loomed. . . . And their great height lays all the horizon to view.”

Hadji Ali (known as “Hi Jolly”), who was first a victim of Lurie’s penchant for stealing and then befriended him, brought Lurie into the Camel Corps. Jolly called Lurie “Misafir,” claiming to all who wanted to know (and lawmen persistently did want to know) that this was Lurie's true identity rather than that of the wanted man on so many posters. (The character of Hi Jolly was based on an authentic member of the Camel Corps, as was the character "Greek George." The denouement of the book also came from an historical account; if you don't mind a huge spoiler, or you wait until finishing the book, you can read about it here.)

While the experiences Lurie recounts take place over a long period of time, in alternate chapters we follow only a single day in the life of Nora Lark. Nora, a 37-year-old frontier wife, is struggling with the drought; the death of her daughter Evelyn when only five months old; her very wayward son Toby; and her deceitful ward Josie - “born to chicanery” - whose interference in Nora's life would try the most stalwart person. Less immediately perhaps, Nora is trying to reconcile herself to the failed dreams of her life with her husband of twenty years, who is now missing along their two eldest sons. But it is Nora’s thirst, both physical and psychological, that drowns out every other aspect of her life.

Both Nora and Lurie reflect upon all they have learned from their improbable survival in the face of continuous obstacles. And much of what they credit for that survival is the important role of deception. They deceive others, but no less importantly, they lie to themselves.

Nora thinks that “the older she grew the more she came to recognize falsehood as the preservative that allowed the world to maintain its shape. . . . Her own knack for deceit surprised her. Lying was as easy as saying nothing. It struck her at some point that all life must necessarily feed on willful delusion.”

Lurie has similar observations about the value of delusion over a realistic assessment of worries.

Indeed, one can view the magical realism of the book as a part of that reliance on deception by the characters. Are there really ghosts all around advising and imploring the living, or is that just the excuse they use to justify their passions and needs? Nora herself isn't sure:

“Might the dead truly inhabit the world alongside the living: laughing, thriving, growing, and occupying themselves with the myriad mundanities of afterlife, invisible merely because the mechanism of seeing them had yet to be invented?”

The illusions of the dead may alternatively be a result of the hallucinatory effects of severe thirst, as when desert travelers become convinced they are approaching an oasis.

It isn't even easy to discern which characters are actually alive, or dead but interacting with the living. Fallacies and fantasies overlay the story like the unending cloudless skies that leave those in this unforgiving landscape fatigued, undernourished, thirsty and given to desperate acts. And yet the instinct for survival ultimately wins out - for most - over despair.

Evaluation: I’m not sure I liked the story much - it was dark, and a little too “out there” - perhaps surreal would be a better word - for my taste. But the writing by this author, who was a National Book Award finalist for her first novel, The Tiger’s Wife, was impressive enough that I stuck with the book, and I was glad I did. It’s not a story one easily forgets.

Obreht’s poetic descriptions of the severe environment create stunning contrasts, perhaps suggesting by this technique that even the bleakest landscape can be beautiful, depending on one’s perspective. When one character looks out with fear into the forbidding night, she still can appreciate the view: “On the far shore she could see familiar forms, the ragged lip of the mesa, above which the stars sat in their whorled millions.”

I especially love Homeric epithets, which Obreht favors and which enhances her writing. Her characters are “wave-rocked,” “sea-tossed,” with “sunflecked shoulders” and one of the most effectively pithy: “winter-stranded at a depot.”

This story is startling in many ways, and might appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy more than it did to me. This is not to say I didn’t recognize its literary merit, and would not hesitate to recommend it.
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LibraryThing member wagner.sarah35
This isn't a bad book, and I'm certain those more literature-minded than myself will likely rave about it, but I just couldn't get into it. Definitely, there was a strong sense of time and place in this novel - rarely have I encountered such a vivid portrayal of the American West - but I still
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struggled to get into this novel, partly because I just couldn't like the characters. I'm certain there was something essential in this novel I likely missed, but for me, I'm just happy I finished it.
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LibraryThing member thewanderingjew
Inland, Téa Obreht, author, Anna Chulmsky, Edoardo Ballerini, Narrators
I won this book from librarything.com but never received it. I listened to an audiobook from the library.

Inland is written very beautifully, and makes the modern books of today pale in comparison, but it also has an abundance
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of tangential details that sometimes makes following it confusing. It begins as the 19th century nears its end. Lawlessness reigns in the Western Territories of the United States, Indians threaten, the idea of statehood is becoming an issue, and water in its absence or abundance is an important theme. The lives of two characters, quite disparate, are covered alternately, and the reader is hard pressed to figure out how their stories will eventually merge, but merge they do. The description of their experiences and their surroundings is penned so clearly and in such detail, that the landscapes described grow alive in the mind of the reader and the characters seem very real, at times.
There are similarities that exist between both of the characters. One is the influence of water in both of their lives. Nora Lark is suffering terribly from the drought in the Territories, and is always thirsty. The absence of water in her life looms over her constantly. Lurie Mattie was in the Camel Corps, a little known experimental adjunct to the military, and camels were known, not to need water, but were able to hold and carry large amounts of it. Both Nora and Lurie speak to spirits. Nora engages in conversations with her dead daughter, Evelyn, who often advises her, and Lurie engages in conversations with his dead friend Hobbs who influences his “wants” in life. Each of them has a “confidant”, as well. Nora’s is Josie, a young psychic she has taken in to care for. They speak of connecting with the spirits of the dead. Lurie speaks to Burke, his camel, endowing the camel with human characteristics.
Lurie originally arrived in Canada, from the Eastern Mediterranean with his father. When his father grew ill and died, Lurie was sold, eventually winding up in a workhouse where he met two friends Hobbs and Donovan. Soon he was a member of their gang, and then he became a wanted man. Now he is an outlaw in the Arizona Territory, with his friend, the camel. Both he and Nora are trapped by circumstances they cannot control.
Nora’s husband, Emmett, a newspaperman, has gone on a trip and has not returned. The sheriff has not found any evidence of his whereabouts. Something odd is underfoot. Nora refuses to believe he is dead but suspicions arise. At this same time, her son Toby, 6 years old, has recently claimed to have seen a monster. Then, Nora’s other two sons go missing, either in search of their father or in search of revenge.
Secrets, mistakes, lies, choices, betrayal and deception are part of both Lurie and Nora’s life. The story is imbued with magical realism, anthropomorphism, ghosts and the natural threats and trials of life. It was hard to get drawn into the story and follow its thread and time line, at times, but the lyrical prose was its saving grace.
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LibraryThing member TooBusyReading
I was given an Advance Readers Copy of this book and also listened to the audio edition borrowed from my library.

This unconventional Western has many earmarks of more traditional Westerns: Arizona Territory, desolation, parched land, bad guys, town rising up and towns going bust, and lots of
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violence. And there are ghosts and monsters and some remarkable characters. The book starts out brutal and never becomes easy reading.

It took me quite awhile to really get “into” this book. I would get interested in Nora's story, left alone with her children, and then it would switch to a totally unrelated story about the Camel Corps and the cameleers and their sad beasts of burden. And then back to Nora. It felt like two books in one, with chapters casually interspersed.

But eventually the cadence and beauty of the words caught up with me, and the story began to coalesce. The characters were all too human (or all too beastly) with the attendant foibles and strengths, bravery and cowardice, that live side by side in us, The stark beauty of this book is hard to forget.
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LibraryThing member Citizenjoyce
You'll need to make sure you have a full glass of water nearby at all times while reading this book, and don't be surprised if it takes quite a while to fully commit yourself to it. For the first half of the novel, I wasn't entirely sure what was going on. Who's that? Where are they now? Who is he
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referring to? And of course, just as I had kind of figured out the current narrator's situation the whole story switched from death talker, involuntary grave robber to very thirsty western mother and her family and friends to keep straight. Just keep reading, it all settles in until the breathtaking ending. Tea Obreht does know how to end a book! I love a western and have never read one like this. Camels in the desert of the American Southwest, evil men controlling a town. Yes, we know about this, but not the way Obreht shows it. This is another prizewinner for sure.
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LibraryThing member Sheila1957
This is a book of two stories--Nora's and Lurie's. Both stories are interesting as Nora is shown as a farm wife dealing with a drought and a husband and sons that have gone missing. Lurie was an outlaw turned cameleer. Based on the blurb for the book, I expected something totally different. Through
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the different timelines and stories, I kept wondering when do Nora and Lurie meet. When they finally do, I was disappointed. However the ending was unexpected and kept with the story. After I finished the book I realized how the blurb could have different meanings and it was not wrong. Just not the meaning I first put on it or how I wanted the story to go. But it is a compelling read and keeps you hooked.
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LibraryThing member kayanelson
I don't know what to say about this book. It was okay. I thought the writing was too flowery. I wanted to know what was happening and too many words got in the way. But the story was weird. I think I'm done with the author.
LibraryThing member davidabrams
The highest praise for this incredibly smart neo-Western. Camels, ghosts, drought, and the fevered determination of pioneers in late 19th-century Arizona: there's everything to love about this novel. If you're dying of thirst for a good book, THIS is the one to drink!
LibraryThing member hemlokgang
I had high expectations for this novel, the author's second. I was confused for half the book, and although everything came together eventually, I didn't like the amount of time spent confused. Ms. Obreht's writing is lovely. She once again creates memorable characters, such as a mother speaking
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with her dead child, a robber who sees dead people, and the mysterious camel which seemed to be a metaphor for surviving the difficulties of life, in the old west, as a camel survives in the desert. The themes in the novel included grief, perseverance, trusting one's intuitive side, and more. Overall, an okay read.
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LibraryThing member Carmenere
Tea Obreht''s writing is fluid as she presents the stories of Lurie, unintentional outlaw turned camel driver delivering water to parched communities of the American desert and Nora a woman in desperate need of water as she awaits the return of the men she loves.
This is a well told tale of
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homesteaders trying to tame the Arizona wilderness, the little known contribution of the United States Camel Corp. and Native Americans trying to understand and adapt to a different and changing country.
Obreht deftly intertwines tragedy and a bit of humor to bring the characters together and remind readers just what an extraordinary and often forgotten, history of the wild wild west.
Thank you, so much, NetGalley, the author and publisher for allowing me to read and review this e-ARC.
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LibraryThing member hairball
(I won this on Early Reviewers, but never received my copy; thank you, Berkeley Public Library.)

A new book from Tea Obreht is a reason to be excited. Other reviewers were disappointed by the narrative style; for me, the seemingly-meandering flow mirrors the way humans cope with and put together
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information in times of crisis. Nora and Lurie are trying to solve the mysteries of how each came to this point of intersection. One can’t expect that to be straightforward.
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LibraryThing member Hccpsk
Second books are hard—especially when your debut garnered a lot of positive attention and a National Book Award finalist spot. Tea Obreht’s (The Tiger’s Wife) new novel took eight years to arrive and maybe it needed a little more time. Don’t get me wrong—the writing is beautiful, the
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story fascinating at times, and I’ll read anything that takes place in the American Southwest. The narrative bounces back and forth between two disparate characters trying to survive the difficult life this area imposed in the late 19th century. Lurie, an outlaw, sees and feels dead souls throughout his life and the other is Nora, a wife and mother struggling to hold her family together during a drought. Both stories drag a bit as they stumble toward the inevitable convergence of the two. Inland has a lot going for it, but somehow it just didn’t pull it all together for me.
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LibraryThing member novelcommentary
Finished my book Inland by Tea Obreht. It took me awhile because its reading was interrupted our no down time travels to Scotland, but overall I did like the dual narratives about the west in the mid to late 1800's. The first is about a young outlaw turned cameleer named Laurie, the second, a
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single day in the life of an
Arizona woman trying to get through the day. In the first story Obreht uses her penchant for magical realism to enable Laurie to feel the influences of those who have died. This is why he steals a stone from an Arab man who then gives him three chances to give it back. They become life long friends and together join an unusual but factual group of camel riders. "Plenty of fantastical details gallop through “Inland,” but, remarkably, the U.S. Army Camel Corps is not one of them. Considering the treacherous and arid land of the American West, in 1855 Congress really did appropriate $30,000 for the War Department to import about three dozen camels for military service. Under the command of a national hero named Edward Fitzgerald Beale, these willful beasts were sent on a surveying expedition to California. "(Washington Post)
We hear Laurie's first person narration as his talks to his best and longest companion, a camel named Burke. From grave robbing to murder to adventures on the camels, it's quite a tale. Meanwhile Nora is coping with her vision seeing son Toby, her spiritual semi niece and the men in her life, one of which is her absent husband who is out looking for water. The two stores do intersect in a most original way and make for an interesting portrait of the American West told from some original viewpoints.
Some lines:

Two breads, left to rise overnight, had burst out of their pans like dancehall girls leaning over the rail.

Josie had the hazel eyes and broad forehead of Emmett’s far-flung Scots kin. Her cheeks and throat were scattershot with freckles that flared an obscene pink after half a second in the sun. A triad of clefts fissured the bridge of her nose whenever she was under duress, and Nora was beginning to feel sorry for these hardworking lines. They might as well stake up for keeps for all the rest they got between admonitions.

Here came Desma with the strides of some Amazon, stout and sunburnt, bosomed like the prow of a ship and crowned with that glorious detonation of hair into which white lines had recently begun to intrude.

I have come to understand that extraordinary people are eroded by their worries while the useless are carried ever forward by their delusions.

God-given eloquence was buttressed on all sides by charms he’d cultivated throughout a long life of asking forgiveness for assorted transgressions about which he was alternately boastful and ashamed.

“Because man is only man. And God, in His infinite wisdom, made it so that to live, generally, is to wound another. And He made every man blind to his own weapons, and too short-living to do anything but guard jealously his own small, wasted way. And thus we go on.”

Twenty years ago, Nora Volk and Emmett Lark had come together in love—or in what they believed was love, and at the very least a torrential hope that they were both cut from a cloth that could turn life at the edge of the world into a grand adventure. He’d had one; she had not. And now, in hoping better for their sons, Emmett had measured and weighed their years together and cast them off as wanting.

“But you see, Misafir, there’s so many parts to everything in life and it costs you to learn all the little details. And people who’ve learned afore you take advantage. They don’t point out your mistakes, just so they can delight in watching you make them.”

Just a little water flashed against the black insides, but, yes, there it was—singing in the darkness.
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LibraryThing member ecataldi
Charming, heart-wrenching, and seamless; this literary western is an instant classic. Two story-lines dance around each other before weaving themselves together in an unforgettable way; Nora, a stubborn frontierswomen trying to navigate family strife and find water in the midst of a drought and
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Lurie, a young outlaw whose past ghosts keep him company as he aimlessly meanders across the west with his camel. Nora's husband was due back two days ago, but she's not worried, she doesn't have time to be; she has to look after her superstitious young son and the head strong and spirit seeing cousin. As the day progresses and her thirst grows stronger, Nora starts to realize something is amiss. Lurie's story on the other hand, spans decades while Nora's is merely one long, hot day. Lurie travels across the country on one expedition after another, with no place to truly call home. Home is where his camel and the spirits are Poetic, beautiful, and haunting, this story spins a tale so fascinating that the reader can't stop reading. A wonderful novel!
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LibraryThing member bookwyrmm
Highly captivating Western with ghosts and a camel.
LibraryThing member angelacronch1976
I applaude the author on this work of art. I must say that I am still so damn thirsty that is how well the author describes the need for water the body has. The ending of the book was unexpected. I still have the vision of the ending in my mind's eye. I would recommend this book and I look forward
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to reading more of this author.
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LibraryThing member sturlington
Inland is a sprawling story of the Old West, a bit slow to get into, but satisfying in the end. It has two intertwining narratives. One, spanning many years, is about an orphan named Lurie who can see the dead. He is aimless and on the run from a warrant on his head when he falls in with a band of
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cameleers who brought camels to help the Army traverse the unsettled American desert. Lurie, now with a different name, bonds with one of the camels and spends a lifetime with the animal. The other narrative takes place over the course of one day and night. It is about an Arizona homesteader named Nora, whose husband and older sons are missing and who is almost out of water due to a drought. She also talks to a ghost, the ghost of her infant daughter who died of heatstroke. These two stories are each compelling in their own right, and they are eventually brought together in a way that surprised me.
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LibraryThing member KimD66
Dual stories that must connect somehow, in a symbolic manner that is obviously deeper than I am!

While potentially a great topic, I didn't care for either story or any character. It seemed way too disjointed. Nothing really gelled at the end (which was so abrupt, a real cop out).
LibraryThing member whitsunweddings
Years ago, when I read the Tiger's Wife, I cried upon finishing the book, both because I found it incredibly moving but also because I loved it and was sad that it was finished. I just finished Inland and am literally still blinking the tears away for the same reasons. I admittedly am a crying
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champion (not unlike that internet girlfriend with the gay swans), but it's worth noting that no other author has this effect on me! Tea Obreht is just that good.

Yes, this is disjointed (I found it hard to keep track of characters, particularly in the early chapters) - but stick with it, it starts to coalesce around the halfway point and the last third in particular is beautiful. Like, I did not expect to be crying at midnight over the plight of the camel in the American West, but here we are. I love Tea Obreht and look forward to her making me cry for many years to come.
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LibraryThing member Gwendydd
This book has two storylines: one focuses on one day in the life of a woman in Arizona, who is trying to keep her household functional while the family is almost out of potable water, her husband is delayed returning from a trip, her young son is convinced a monster is roaming the territory, her
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flighty housemaid messes up everything, and her older sons are gone somewhere on the family newspaper business, among other crises large and small. Meanwhile, she is constantly conversing in her head with the ghost of her daughter who died as a child, and reminiscing about her past.

The other storyline is the entire life story of a man who comes to America from the Middle East as a boy, and is orphaned immediately upon arrival. He joins a gang of thieving kids, and when the gang is suspected of murder, he must spend the rest of his life on the run from the law. He runs across, of all things, a camel train. The US military really did use camels in the West! He joins the camel train, and becomes lifelong friends with a camel and one of the other camel handlers.

Obreht's writing is wonderful - the characters feel very real, and it's hard to put the book down. She really brings the camels to life. There are compelling mysteries throughout the book - what is the monster that the little boy sees? What is delaying the father? Is the ghost of the little girl actually a ghost, or a figment of her mother's imagination? The book has a very satisfying ending that ties up everything, including the nature of ghosts.

I thoroughly enjoyed this!
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LibraryThing member japaul22
I loved this new novel by Tea Obreht. [Inland] follows two separate storylines in late 1800s America, largely in the arid Arizona territory. The first is of Lurie, an orphan boy who joins up with a group of men journeying across the west with a herd of camels (yes, camels). His story spans the
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decades of his life and his relationship with his camel, Burke. The other story is Nora's and happens over the course of one day (of course with some memories included). Nora is awaiting the arrival of her husband who is three days late returning with much-needed water. Her two grown sons have also gone missing.

The stories are very different but have some things in common - certainly the setting, but also a communion with the dead which seems natural, not supernatural, in Obreht's talented hands. As often is the case with books with dual plotlines, I preferred one - Nora's - at first, but I grew to love both and understand how the seemingly disparate stories really did connect.

I didn't have any interest in reading Obreht's first book, [The Tiger's Wife], but this description appealed to me and I'm so glad I read it. Obreht is a very skilled author and I loved this book.
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LibraryThing member NanetteLS
This is a tough one to categorize. Maybe magical realism, maybe historical? I was very glad I ignored the reviews comparing it to Lincoln in the Bardo (which I strongly disliked). Inland encompasses two stories (an abandoned - maybe - wife in a hostile environment in the late 1800s and a young
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camel rider in the same area, but a somewhat different time). Ghosts, spirits, untrustworthy (and trustworthy) companions encompass the events as the two protagonists make their way in the world.. The environment and many of the characters are harsh and demanding. Ultimately it's a strong story, well-written and well-told. So in the end, I was very glad I stuck with it and I do recommend it if you go in knowing it's not a typical historical/western piece. I hadn't read the author's previous work but may just need to.
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LibraryThing member Castlelass
Deeply imagined historical fiction based on an unusual episode in the history of Arizona Territory in the mid-to-late 1800s. Obreht threads together two seemingly disparate stories: Lurie, a Turkish immigrant whose alliances have led to his status as a wanted man, and Nora, a mother toiling in a
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rugged landscape to care for her family in a drought while her husband searches for water. These two storylines eventually merge in a satisfying way. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, as I found part of the enjoyment in reading this novel is figuring out the connections.

The characters are well-crafted, and the style of prose is suited to the time period. The reader is privy to the inner thoughts of the two main characters, how they view what they have done in life, and the stories they tell themselves. They each have experienced grief, and it continues to influence them at a cost to their mental well-being. Their personal stories and a few well-kept secrets are gradually revealed, containing a few surprises for the reader.

The desert is a character unto itself. The author expertly evokes the oppressive heat, arid landscape, and the harsh realities faced by anyone trying to make a life in the desert. It felt authentic in its portrayal of what life may have been like on the lawless, rough frontier. I recommend keeping a water bottle at hand!

I should mention that this book contains a few ghosts, called “the other living,” that can be read either as supernatural elements or as figments of the characters’ imaginations. I found it very easy to explain these apparitions as a product of extreme grief, influence by others, or a deterioration in mental health.

This novel works on several levels: it is a picture of the challenges within a long-term marriage, the lingering impact of the death of loved ones, and the impact of individual choices on a person’s life. I highly enjoyed it.

I received an advance reader’s copy from the publisher. This book is due to be published August 2019.
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LibraryThing member nancyadair
At the turn of the century, deep in the middle of the Arizona desert, Nora waits for her missing husband to return with water. Racked with thirst, Nora talks to her dead infant while tending to her vision-impaired son and her husband's superstitious niece. Two older sons are getting into trouble
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instead of running their dad's newspaper.

At the same time, a haunted immigrant Muslim 'Turk' and his comrade camel recall their many adventures with the army and running from the law.

This wild and original idea for a Western tale delves into new territory filled with desert and thirst, lawmen and murder, secret desires and secret liaisons, ghosts, and alien monsters.

Obreht is a masterful stylist and Inland is brimming with quotable lines from descriptive to insightful.

Stowaway burrs dimpled her hem. ~from Inland by Tea Obreht

The longer I live, Burke, the more I have come to understand that extraordinary people are eroded by their worries while the useless are carried ever forward by their delusions.~from Inland by Tea Obreht

Life's happiness is always a famine, and what little we find interest nobody. What use is it, the happiness of some stranger? At worst, it driver onlookers to envy; at best, it bored them. ~from Inland by Tea Obreht

Where did Obreht come up with the idea behind this unusual story? History.

Obreht was inspired by real people and events. The U.S. Army did have a plan to employ camels and camel drivers, feral camels did roam the west after the plan fell through. Hi Jolly in the novel was one of the camel drivers.

What a masterful handling of material and plot! What gorgeous prose!

I won a free book through LibraryThing. My review is fair and unbiased.
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LibraryThing member BibliophageOnCoffee
This felt like a 4 star read to me during most of it, but the last couple chapters pushed it over to 5. I just loved how everything tied together in the end. Reading it really felt like a journey. I was a little hesitant to pick this book up at first since I'm not a western fan, but I'm so glad
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that I pushed past my preconceived notion of the whole genre. Now that I see the great Tea Obreht hype of 2011 is real, maybe I'll finally get around to reading my copy of The Tiger's Wife...
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Awards

Dublin Literary Award (Longlist — 2021)
Dylan Thomas Prize (Shortlist — 2020)
BookTube Prize (Octofinalist — Fiction — 2020)
Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year (Historical Fiction — 2019)

ISBN

0812982754 / 9780812982756
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