The Lighthouse Road (Geye)

This is the first piece of Minnesota Lit I’ve read since I moved away. You know, beautiful sometimes harsh landscapes. Beautiful, sometimes harsh people. Immigration issues related to Scandanavian countries. Water. Fish. Snow. And more snow.

It took a bit of time to get into this one, but once I did, it was completely absorbed. Geye clearly knows his stuff and is able to integrate the vocabulary of boats or a logging camp or whatever else he needs into his narrative.

I was puzzled at first about why he chose to move his narrative around in time. By the end, I had a few ideas, but I remain convinced that it wasn’t completely necessary. I think this story would have had just as much power (if not more) if it had been told in order.

I don’t want to disclose a plot twist as it’s important and it creates the urgency the plot needs for the main problem to come to some sort of resolution. This twist, though reasonable and realistic, came across as a bit cliched. I wonder what would have happened if Geye had not decided on this twist to speed things up or had not decided to speed things up. I’m sorry if I come across as cryptic here, but I hate reviews that contain spoilers. Let’s just say that this twist is as tired as the out of power cell phone is today.

I liked the complexity of Geye’s main characters. Some of the minor ones were in the story a bit too long to be as one-dimensional as they were.

Good, but not great – unless you are a born and bred Minnesotan.

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