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Publisher's Summary

The main lesson Luce had learned was that you couldn’t count on anybody.
In the lonesome beauty of the forest, across the far shore of the mountain lake from town, Luce acts as caretaker to an empty, decaying lodge, a relic of holidaymakers a century before. Her days are long and peaceful, her nights filled with Nashville radio and yellow lights shimmering on the black water. A solitary life, and the perfect escape. Until the stranger children come. Bringing fire. And murder. And love.
From the internationally best-selling author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons comes a haunting and masterful new novel of love and suspense.
©2011 3 Crows Corporation (P)2011 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Chris on 10-30-11


I really enjoyed this book once I had my ear tuned in to the narrator's backwoods drawl, which was perfect for this compelling story. The fear, the menace, the smell of the seasons in the woods, are all tangible at every stage of this tale. Brilliant observation and characterisation by the author. I was sorry when it ended.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Susan on 12-30-13

A long, slow burn.

Literally, the theme of burning, real or metaphorical, left me smelling the ashes of pine needles and cones in a snowy deserted, long-dead landscape, empty of people. The ability of the two, or three, or five, main characters to survive, and to understand what had gone before, and what might come to them was so very carefully and delicately traced, so that I had to sit quite still to absorb the atmosphere. I will find the feeling of strange children, clinging to each other whilst adults who know far too much around them very difficult to shake off.
The book has a feeling of Cormac McCarthy with a laconic style and possibly leading to a Coen brothers film adaptation, with echoes of "Cold Mountain" and wild Appalachian winter, written in sensitive descriptive style, underplaying the dreadful pasts.
The narrator is pitch-perfect in tone, accent and pace. No rushing this one, take your time and listen to the snow settle.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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