West of Here is a warm pastry of a book, rich and flavourful, to be enjoyed at leisure
One hundred and 20 years ago, bold individuals built the town of Port Bonita up in the wilderness of Washington Territory, and today their descendents contemplate the inheritance of the past.
Do the characters embrace their histories, throw them away and start over, or simply sink under the weight of them and disappear forever? West of Here is a vast ensemble piece, with the lives of dozens of characters carefully interconnected and played out on the stage of their little town.
All the people the reader meets, no matter how briefly, are explorers, whether of the untamed Olympic Peninsula or the undiscovered country of their own potential.
Jonathan Evison describes the story of Port Bonita on a seemingly cinematic scale, in widescreen and high definition, building on hundreds of tiny moments of intimacy, each as detailed as the landscape is broad.
West of Here is a warm pastry of a book, rich and flavourful, to be enjoyed at leisure. At the end of the continent, journeys are beginning, and it’s worth coming along for the trip.
Review by Giulia Mauro
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Page count: 496 pages
Released: Jan 24, 2011