I am 2 books in to my 50 Books in 2012 goal. Last week I wrote about book #1 and am ready to tell you about #2: Bright’s Passage, the debut novel by singer/song writer Josh Ritter. I’m listening to the Josh Ritter Pandora station as I type this post — so far, so good.
This novel is the story of Henry Bright, a young, widowed veteran returning from World War I. The story bounces between Henry and his newborn son fleeing a forest fire and cruel in-laws in the West Virginia hills, Henry’s trench warfare experiences in France, and his childhood. I liked the fact that each chapter presented a different scene – it was either the present, the War, or Henry’s childhood.
I came across Bright’s Passage a few weeks ago after seeing War Horse. Did you know that horses were used as part of cavalry charges, to transport materials to the front, and as a reliable form of transportation? Over 8 million horses died (on all sides) in the War.
A key character in the story is Henry’s horse who is the guardian angel guiding Henry as he and his son escape the fire and Henry’s father-in-law who is seeking revenge after Henry’s young wife dies during childbirth (that happened within the first few pages of the novel…there was not a dry eye in the house reading that chapter!). I don’t want to get into the horse and guardian angel too much because that’s a key piece in the story – the angel who helps Henry on the battlefield and is key at the end of the novel.
A free sample of the book is available on Josh’s website.
Question: Have you read Bright’s Passage or seen War Horse? Thoughts?
Book #3 is A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz. A beautiful tribute to their golden retriever, Trixie.