Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
One day while out chopping wood, Wade Mitchell's wife does something unspeakable, sending their lives off course forever. Years later, Wade has remarried and is slowly losing his memories to early onset dementia. Can his second wife, Ann, piece together what happened before Wade forgets himself?
I blazed through Idaho in a couple long sittings and as I sit here, I'm having trouble quantifying how I feel about it. I thought it was going to be a literary mystery but the killer was revealed very early on. It's more about coping with loss, I guess. Life, memories, freedom, etc.
The writing had a literary feel and the story is told in a non-linear fashion, jumping back and forth through the lives of Wade, his first wife, Jenny, their daughters, and his second wife, Ann. I enjoyed piecing together what happened through the various time jumps. Jenny's time in prison was easily my favorite part.
Like I said, it's a hard book for me to quantify. It had its share of touching moments but it also had long stretches where not a whole lot happened to advance the plot. There were a couple extraneous characters that got too much time devoted to them in threads that were ultimately inconsequential. Most of all, there were some unanswered questions, leaving me thinking there should have been an epilogue to wrap a couple things up. While I enjoyed the writing, the structure was probably my favorite part.
Here we are at the end and I'm still not quite sure how to rate this. I like Idaho but it felt like a literary author "slumming it" by writing a genre book but afraid to go all-in. I guess I'll give it a 3 and call it a day.
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