I really loved Meyer’s American Rust, so I picked up his new one as soon as it became available in paperback. I appreciate his versatility. He’s moved from the Rust Belt to the Texas-Mexico border and from a focus on one time period to three. The alternating voice approach remains. But this one is more epic; perhaps something set in Texas has to be. Still, it took a good long while (perhaps even 250 pages) for me to get any sense of momentum. I’m glad I stuck with it, though. The characters grew on me, and their interconnectedness began to make more and more sense as the story progressed. And the introduction of the modern changed form and content (as it should).
Meyer did his homework, and he’s not shy about sharing details. Lots of details. At times, it seems he’s aping Cormac McCarthy, without McCarthy’s sense of restraint. Ultimately, though, he makes the style work for him and his story.
I am not sure about the title, though. It hardly seems apt. This is about more than just one son and, in fact, one of the most striking characters is the daughter.
This is Texas history and, as such, it is also American history. It’s an interesting survey and when it intersects with the real and the recent, I was reminded of just how much this country has changed in such a short time.
I am curious to see where Meyer takes us with his next novel, though I probably won’t snap it up as soon as it hits the ‘New Paperback’ section.