This is a terrific book, Jiles writes in this laconic and evocative way that matches her Western genre. The way she can summon characters and conflicts with just a few brush strokes is just remarkable. This book is short and it should be. Still, it’s a distinctly American story, not just because of the journey motif, but also because of the setting. This is the South just after the Civil War and it is a place still trying to make sense of and to itself. Jiles’ messenger motif suits her story and is definitely thought-provoking. I am going to find her earlier books.