This dramatic novel set in the deserts of west Texas is about a man trying to find the best life for himself, his wife, their marriage, and their son. The problem is, he doesn’t have a whole lot of ambition, and his myopic focus sabotages his efforts.
The first two-thirds of the book is description. The narrator/protagonist describes his failures, marriage, travels, new home and feelings about the new home, desire to be a good husband and father, and finally, his baseball team. Well, the baseball team he helps coach.
I struggled through this descriptive section. It was rambly, depressing, and sloooooowwwwww. I almost quit reading. But since I was interested in whether this guy was going to get a life — and how his wife and son would fare — I trudged on.
The last third of the book is full of action: A dalliance, an accident, a success, a failure, another move. I was on the edge of my seat, wiping tears from my eyes and giving the protagonist a stern talking-to. Wilkinson made the book come alive, and thank goodness he did.
I was about to give this novel 2 stars — but the last part of it is worthy of 4. So if you think you have the patience for 300 pages of 2 star material, you will be treated to some excellent writing and dramatic action in the last 150 pages.
If only the publisher demanded the first 300 pages be edited down to half that, Wilkinson would have a 4-star novel on his hands… reminiscent of a Pat Conroy read.
I’m glad I read Where the Mountains are Thieves. Just wished it didn’t take so long to get to the good stuff. 🙂
Buy it now Where the Mountains are Thieves