Assembling a dazzling array of characters, Evison takes the reader across the USA in from the time railroads were first being built hurtling on to present day. Quicks snapshots keep the reader interested as the story switches between characters and their descendants. Connecting them loosely by the onward expanse and running of the railroad.
Finn and Nora Bergan are twins who travel from Ireland to New York, finding their way to Chicago seeking the golden opportunity of America. Othello is a slave, his life not his own, but the property of a self-indulgent blowhard. That Othello is the better man is beyond question, but wealth and ownership put him at the beck and call of the lesser man. Othello is easily worth a whole book of his own! Actually, many of these characters are worth a whole book of their own!
Evison populates the novel with a wide variety of backgrounds, from immigrants to Native Americans, each seeking a meaningful life. As I read the snapshots of their lives, Evison’s writing is so vivid it kept me wanting to read more about them. Clearly shown is the strength diversity brings to the US. Connecting the past to the present, often focusing on the Northwest, this is an epic story and a grand read.— Deon Stonehouse
January 2022 Indie Next List
“From the Gold Rush with Chinese, Irish, and Native Americans among the protagonists, Evison alternates time — work on the rails to Amtrak; gold panning to modern West Coast life — tying generations together in a splendid sleight of hand.”
— Pat Rutledge, A Book For All Seasons, Leavenworth, WA