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Lynette is recuperating from botched Lasik surgery. Her eyesight is damaged, but as she a€œlooksa€ back on the events of her past, she realizes she may not have seen them correctly when she was actually living them. Her husbanda€™s death . . . was it a suicide? The bones unearthed on her unclea€™s Montana rancha€”are they of a steer? a mastodon? a dinosaur? Her beloved cousin Jessiea€”did she slip into addiction, and if so, where did the addict life take her? The dots of Lynettea€™s past are blurry, but she tries to focus and connect them and to feel her way toward a more accurate vision of the person she has been and may become. Lynette and her two cousins, Jessie and Buster, narrate the linked short stories that make up Boneland. Their fathers, brothers, grew up on the ranch in Montana, a place rich in dinosaur fossils that gives the book its title. Continuing an enormous task begun two generations back, one of the uncles is still reconstructing a fossil in the old hay shed. The cousins, meanwhile, carry on the family tradition of reconstructing the mysteries of the past. All three have trouble defining and maintaining their identities. And only they understand the idiosyncrasies of their familya€”which Nance Van Winckel treats as a character in this ingeniously linked collection of stories. The family is a creature reconstructed from the slippery events of everyonea€™s past. Fate is sudden and powerful in the life of this clan. A baby is dropped, a family drowned, a tsunami in Thailand changes the course of an already troubled life. Van Winckel releases time from strict adherence to chronology to reveal surprising correspondences. With shifting points of view and distinctive voices, these linked stories, in the hands of a master of the genre, capture the mutability of human experience and the meandering plot lines that make up our lives.But right then, as after most of these stories, Dot suddenly smiled and said the usual: a€œIta#39;s the wig.a€ a€œSo just take it off, a€ my father suggested ... She fingered a few strands as if trying to untangle them from the others. And that too was surely a lost anbsp;...

Author:Nance Van Winckel
Publisher:University of Oklahoma Press - 2013-07-29


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