West by Carys Davies
John Cyrus Bellman is obsessed with a newspaper article about the enormous animal bones discovered in Kentucky. He is driven to journey west to find the living creatures he knows are out there. A recent widower he leaves his peevish sister in charge of his Pennsylvania mule farm and his young daughter Bess as he sets out on his journey. As we know there were no mammoths in the west by the time but Bess will need to survive the monsters closing in on her at home.
This is a very short novel but don’t let its size fool you. There is sparse but lovely language, the bones of issues that still affect our world today, and scenes that will replay in your mind days later. The longing is palpable one character longing to find the creatures haunting his dreams and another wanting the explorer to return with all her heart.
You can read or listen to this one in a weekend but you’ll be thinking about it for weeks.