THE HIGH DIVIDE, a novel
* STARRED REVIEW in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, July 21, 2014:
"A masterfully told Western reinvention of Homer's ODYSSEY... Set against a backdrop of beauty and danger, this is the moving story of a man coming to terms with his past. In its narrative simplicity and emotional directness, it is reminiscent of John Ford's classic THE SEARCHERS."
* STARRED REVIEW in LIBRARY JOURNAL, July 1, 2014:
"Enger's novel is told in beautifully exact, liquid language that wastes no time, just as one cannot afford to waste time when making a journey such as the Pope family's. Highly recommended."
In 1886, Gretta Pope wakes one morning to discover that her husband is gone. Ulysses Pope has left his family behind on the far edge of Minnesota’s western prairie, with only the briefest of notes and no explanation for why he left or where he’s headed. It doesn’t take long for Gretta’s young sons, Eli and Danny, to set off after him, following the scant clues they can find, jumping trains to get where they need to go, and ending up in the rugged badlands of Montana.
Short on money and beleaguered by a treacherous landlord, Gretta has no choice but to seek out her sons and her husband as well, leading her to the doorstep of a woman who seems intent on making Ulysses her own. While out in the Western wilderness, the boys find that the closer they come to Ulysses’ trail, the greater the perils that confront them–until each is faced with a choice about whom they will defend, and who they become.
Enger’s breathtaking portrait of the vast plains landscape is matched by the rich expanse of his characters’ emotional terrain, as pivotal historical events–the bloody turmoil of expansionism, the near total demise of the bison herds, and the subjugation of the Plains Indians–blend seamlessly with the intimate story of a family’s sacrifice and devotion.
“This is a gripping story with well portrayed, complex, and sympathetic main characters and a complement of believable secondary figures in a vividly described region nearing the close of an era. Enger is an author worth watching.”
“The High Divide is a deeply moving, gripping novel about one man’s quest for redemption and his family’s determination to learn the truth. Written with lean, crisp prose, Enger seamlessly blends historical events with the personal, and deftly pulls the reader into America’s Great Plains during the 19th Century. The narrators’ voices are captivating, and I was spellbound by the author’s ability to express the human condition and especially the complicated bonds between fathers and sons. Layered with meaning, this remarkable novel deserves to be read more than once. The High Divide proves Enger’s chops as a masterful storyteller.”
—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise
“The High Divide, a novel about a family in peril, is haunting and tense but leavened by considerable warmth and humanity. Lin Enger writes with durable grace about a man’s quest for redemption and the human capacity for forgiveness.”
—Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon
“Lin Enger sets out from the conventions of the traditional Western and brings the reader into new emotional territory, that of the soul of an exquisitely drawn, American family. Told with caring patience and precise language, The High Divide is a novel to get lost in.”
—James Scott, author of The Kept
Algonquin Reader, Fall 2014
Read Lin Enger's essay, in the Algonquin Reader, that describes how he came to write THE HIGH DIVIDE.