Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars
From the New York Times bestselling author of Cold Mountain and Varina, a stunning new novel that paints a vivid portrait of life in the Great Depression
Hurtling past the downtrodden communities of Depression-era America, painter Val Welch travels westward to the rural town of Dawes, Wyoming. Through a stroke of luck, he’s landed a New Deal assignment to create a mural representing the region for their new Post Office.
A wealthy art lover named John Long and his wife Eve have agreed to host Val at their sprawling ranch. Rumors and intrigue surround the couple: Eve left behind an itinerant life riding the rails and singing in a western swing band. Long holds shady political aspirations, but was once a WWI sniper—and his right hand is a mysterious elder cowboy, a vestige of the violent old west. Val quickly finds himself entranced by their lives.
One day, Eve flees home with a valuable painting in tow, and Long recruits Val to hit the road with a mission of tracking her down. Journeying from ramshackle Hoovervilles to San Francisco nightclubs to the swamps of Florida, Val’s search for Eve narrows, and he soon turns up secrets that could spark formidable changes for all of them.
In The Trackers, singular American writer Charles Frazier conjures up the lives of everyday people during an extraordinary period of history that bears uncanny resemblance to our own. With the keen perceptions of humanity and transcendent storytelling that have made him beloved for decades, Frazier has created a powerful and timeless new classic.
Being the oldest child and beautiful is not always a blessing. Eve is forced out of the house in her teens when her family has too many mouths to feed and no money during the depression. The early nineteen-thirties were a very difficult time for everyone in America.
Eve got her degree in survival in the camps of the depression population and rode the rails from place to place to find work. She picked fruit in all areas of the United States until she met Mr. Long. They were soon married but she still sang in local honky-tonks and was admired by many. With her marriage, Eve was no longer struggling and moving with the seasons and the railroads.
Valentine Montgomery Welsh is hired to paint a mural in the local post office. He is introduced to the Longs and offered free rent in one of their ranch-hand cottages. Everything is going well and the mural is nearly finished when the straw boss of the ranch corners Val and asks him where Eve is. Thus follows the major adventure of the book.
Val covers all four corners of the state looking for Eve to bring her home to Mr. Long. The country is fairly lawless during the thirties and tracking a runaway is fraught with danger. Some people are happy to help Val in his search, while others would just as soon dispatch him. One of these characters is Faro who is very big and very mean. He and Val attain a truce while they scour the country looking for the missing Mrs. Eve Long.
This story is entertaining and irresistible! I was engaged both by the plot and also the ruthlessly depicted characters. Enjoy! 5 stars – CE Williams
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. Currently on pre-order.
Genre: US Historical Fiction, Historical Literary Fiction, Small Town & Rural Fiction
Print Length: 320 pages
Publication Date: April 11, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Trackers [Amazon]
The Author: Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and is the award-winning author of bestselling novels COLD MOUNTAIN, THIRTEEN MOONS, NIGHTWOODS, and VARINA. His latest novel, THE TRACKERS, will be released April 11, 2023 from Ecco and is available for preorder now.
©2022 CE Williams – V Williams