My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Quite a gripping read. A mix of almost ‘wild west’ (though set in the deep south), environmental and anti-war novel. An original take on early 20th century America, seeing it from the point of view of two brothers whose business it is to despoil the cypress forests of Louisiana – awareness of the destruction they are inflicting is only on the edge of their consciousness. The setting is a lawless isolated logging town. One brother is crippled by what we now know as PTSD, from his war experiences. The other is trying to come out from the shadow of his older brother, and from the control of his father.
There a few clichés here – the younger brother being saved from drowning under ice by his older brother; the violent climax which could be from almost any western film.
But Gautreux writes well, and the story is absorbing.