Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Barrowfields



Lewis, Phillip. The Barrowfields. New York: Hogarth, 2017.

I had a love-hate relationship with this book. On the one hand, the book was well-written. On the other, I really could not identify with the characters, making it tedious. The book focuses on the Aster family of Western North Carolina. The father is a lawyer with a great love for books and aspirations of becoming an author. They live in a house where the previous tenants were murdered. Tragedy takes the father. The narrator is the son Henry who eventually goes off to the university, promising his sister Threnody he’ll return home. He meets a woman named Story at the university. Henry can’t bring himself to go back home. His mother and sister eventually move away. Although the story line goes much further, I’ll leave readers to discover the outcome for themselves. Although the two books are really not that similar, my mind kept being drawn to William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying as I was reading it. I think the writing and some of the themes reminded me of the book. It’s a great first effort by an author. I received an electronic advance copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.

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