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Friday, February 6, 2015

The High Divide by Lin Enger


The High Divide by Lin Enger caught my eye since I just came back from a wonderful trip that found me crisscrossing the Continental Divide for two and a half months.
Talk about ripping off Homer. This two part novel is our classic Greek story, war and wandering.  In this story the father, Ulysses, is a soldier in two campaigns, the Civil War and the Indian Wars with Custer and the Seventh. The mother, Greta, is a recent Danish immigrant who meets Ulysses in her travels west to St Paul. They meet and have two boys. After a decade or so, Wanderlust kicks in and dad disappears with only a beaded satchel. The satchel belonged to a family of Indians he killed when serving with Custer. He wants to return the satchel to Magpie the father of the family he killed. Father shares this with his two sons and continues the journey to find Magpie in the high plains of the high divide of Montana. Forbidding lands to make peace with another father with one of your sons. An interesting character we meet is a curator from the new Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. A history lesson about buffalo and Indians from a Smithsonian POV.
Father on a quest. The sons on a quest.  Even mom leaves on her own quest just to get out of town and to get away from the local letch. After much juggling and adjusting the confluence may begin.


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