Half Wild: Book summary and reviews of Half Wild by Robin MacArthur

Half Wild

Stories

by Robin MacArthur

Half Wild by Robin MacArthur X
Half Wild by Robin MacArthur
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Aug 2016
    224 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

A powerfully authentic new literary voice debuts with stories that carve out a distinctive vision of the wildness and beauty of rural Vermont.

Spanning nearly forty years, the stories in Robin MacArthur's formidable debut give voice to the hopes, dreams, hungers, and fears of a diverse cast of Vermonters—adolescent girls, aging hippies, hardscrabble farmers, disconnected women, and solitary men. Straddling the border between civilization and the wild, they all struggle to make sense of their loneliness and longings in the stark and often isolating enclaves they call home—golden fields and white-veiled woods, dilapidated farmhouses and makeshift trailers, icy rivers and still lakes rouse the imagination, tether the heart, and inhabit the soul.

In "Creek Dippers," a teenage girl vows to escape the fate that has trapped her eccentric, rough-living mother. "Maggie in the Trees" explores the aftershocks of a man who surrenders to his passion for a wild, damaged woman—his longtime friend's partner. In "God's Country," an elderly woman is unexpectedly reminded of a forbidden youthful passion and the chance she did not take. Returning to her childhood house when her mother falls ill, a daughter grapples with her own sense of belonging in "The Women Where I'm From."

In striking prose powerful in its clarity and purity, MacArthur effortlessly renders characters cleaved to the land that has defined them—men and women, young and old, whose lives are inextricably intertwined with one another and tied to the fierce and beautiful natural world that surrounds them.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Though the protagonists in each story are certainly different—hippies, farmers, young girls, old women—they can tend to blur together. Still, MacArthur is able to render complicated situations precisely and depict tenderness and harshness with an equally deft hand." - Publishers weekly

"A promising debut and admirable survey of adolescent and middle-aged crises in rough country." - Kirkus Reviews

"Move over Annie Proulx, Raymond Carver, and Flannery O'Connor. Make room for Vermont's own Robin MacArthur. Half Wild is American fiction, and American literature, at its very best." - Howard Frank Mosher, author of Where the Rivers Flow North and God's Kingdom

"MacArthur writes with the ear of a musician and a classic, pure command of the short story form, like a dispatch from Eudora Welty in the great north woods." - Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise and Almost Famous Women

"Half Wild... made me feel a bittersweet nostalgia for all the possible lives I could have led. This is a beautiful and emotionally rich book and it casts a big spell." - Diane Cook, author of Man V. Nature

"Feral, wise, deft, elegant, luminous, Robin MacArthur's stories inhabit a reader with shimmering wonder." - Rick Bass, author of All The Land to Hold Us

"Robin MacArthur is a striking new voice and Half Wild is a stormy marvel of a debut." - Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me and The Isle of Youth

The information about Half Wild shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Robin MacArthur

Robin MacArthur lives on the hillside where she was born in Marlboro, Vermont with her husband and two young children. She is the author of Half Wild, the editor of Contemporary Vermont Fiction, and one half of the indie-folk duo Red Heart the Ticker. Her work has appeared in Orion Magazine, Hunger Mountain, Whole Terrain, Shenandoah, Alaska Quarterly and on NPR. You can read more of her work at www.themmornings.com.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more short stories/essays...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Treeborne
    Treeborne
    by Caleb Johnson
    The Treeborne family has lived on The Seven – the local sobriquet for a seven-acre stretch of ...
  • Book Jacket
    Grace
    by Paul Lynch
    Harrowing. Gorgeous. Epic. Grace, Paul Lynch's coming of age novel about a young woman, is set ...
  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Summer Wives
    by Beatriz Williams

    An electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power and redemption set on an island off the New England coast.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.