Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Wake of Forgiveness

The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble

On a moonless Texas night in 1895, an ambitious young landowner suffers the loss of “the only woman he’s ever been fond of” when his wife dies during childbirth with the couple’s fourth boy, Karel. From an early age Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors. But Karel is forever haunted by thoughts of the mother he never knew, by the bloodshot blame in his father’s eyes, and permanently marked by the yoke he and his brothers are forced to wear to plow the family fields. Confident only in the saddle, Karel is certain that the horse “wants the whip the same way he wants his pop’s strap . . . the closest he ever gets to his father’s touch.” In the winter of 1910, Karel rides in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his father’s fortune, his brother’s futures, and his own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and to salvage the tattered fabric of his family.

My Thoughts

I really wanted to like this book much more than I did. The writing is beautifully descriptive. However, I found the storyline to be dark and depressing. The time line goes back and forth and I found myself having to go back and figure out what time period I was now in. The flow was confusing to me. There were some rather descriptive moments of child abuse and animal abuse that were just too much for me. All in all I would say the writing is beautiful in spots. The author has a wonderful way with words but this just wasn't the book for me. I really wanted to like it more.

I received this book for my honest opinion from the publisher through Barnes and Noble's First Look Book Club.


  1. I downloaded this one from NetGalley. I'd hoped to like it, too. Thanks for the honest review. I think I'll start it and see what I think, but if it doesn't grab me pretty quickly I won't worry about continuing on!

  2. Oh No! I actually am not a fan of books where the story goes back and forth in time, add depressing to the mix, and sounds like a pass book for me.

  3. I completely agree. I haven't finished the book yet. Not because it's not well written but I just have no motivation to pick it up and finish it. I sure wish I knew why but I do think the depressive nature of it has something to do with it.

  4. I wanted to like this book too, and from the B&N synopsis, I thot I would. I love a good redemption story, and having the story go back and forth doesn't bother me. But, I found it to be too dark and depressing; children, animals and women were not treated well during this time period, nor in this book. I did make it thru to the end, but skipped a few pages here and there where the detail was just too much.

  5. I've read books like that . I really wanted to like them, and there may have even been pretty prose, but without some continuity to the storyline or, in some cases, a decent storyline to back up the pretty writing, it just doesn't happen for me.

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries


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