Nightwoods - Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier’s debut was the quietly graceful and heartbreaking Cold Mountain; his new Nightwoods (Random House, $26) is the story of Luce, a solitary, efficient woman whose world falls apart when she finds herself the guardian of her late sister’s children. That sister died under mysterious circumstances, and the children, possibly the only witnesses to the death, have been mute ever since. Violent and crafty, Luce is drawn into their silent world, and Frazier evokes the Appalachians with a touch of Grimm noir. The lush woods offer the orphans both solace and danger as the man who haunted their mother’s life returns to watch them. Using North Carolina country dialect, Frazier unfolds his plot from multiple perspectives. He also mingles fear and humor, hope and despair.