by Charles Frazier
2011 Random House
"Nightwoods" starts slow, just like the other Charles Frazier books I have read, but then the characters and plot just suck you in. Most of the book is set in the same bleak Appalachian landscape as "Cold Mountain" and the time frame of the story is hard to nail down - the late 50s or early 60s. Luce lives as a caretaker in an old hunting lodge, across the lake from a small town. She is a loner and not especially very likable at first. When her sister is murdered, she takes in her niece and nephew - two emotionally scarred children. "Nightwoods" is filled with strong supporting characters and a beautiful, yet brutal setting. And the dialogue is sparse, but hard hitting. "Cold Mountain" is one of my all time favorite books, but with "Thirteen Moons" and now "Nightwoods", Frazier has proved himself as a consistently great American writer.