BookBrowse Reviews An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

An Unfinished Life

by Mark Spragg

An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg X
An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2004, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2005, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


Immediately compelling and constantly surprising. Novel

From the book jacket: Set in the high-country of Wyoming, this is a riveting tale of hard-won friendship, old wounds, fresh pain and love lost and found.

Comment: An Unfinished Life is somewhat similar in style to Kent Haruf's Plainsong - but grittier.  Jean Gilkyson hasn't been home to Wyoming for ten years, since her husband died in a car accident;  she was driving and her father-in-law, Einar, has never forgiven her.  However, now she's out of money and options. Leaving her abusive boyfriend, Roy, she and her nine-year-old daughter, Griff, escape to the only place left to them, her father-in-law's house in Ishawooa, Wyoming, where Griff meets the grandfather she didn't know she had, and Jean's father-in-law meets the granddaughter he didn't know he had. The story is told from five different viewpoints: Griff, Einar, Jean, Roy, and Einar's old war buddy and best friend, Mitch, who is pivotal in breaking down the barriers between the generations, allowing the shoots of forgiveness a chance to grow. 

The voice of the abusive boyfriend, Roy, is particularly convincing.  In the interview that you can read at BookBrowse, Spragg says that the most difficult part of the book was to convey Roy's voice accurately, particularly 'his sense of being misunderstood, his burning righteousness and his sentimentality of violence'. 

'An old rancher reluctantly takes in his daughter-in-law and granddaughter in this moving and well-crafted, if rather derivative, second novel by Spragg (The Fruit of Stone).' - PW.
'Each word counts for more than it says in this achingly beautiful story of courage and endurance.' - Booklist.

This review is from the August 17, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
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: New World, Inc.
    New World, Inc.
    by Simon Targett, John Butman
    When we think about the founding of America, we typically envision Pilgrims in black garb and boxy ...
  • Book Jacket: New World, Inc.
    New World, Inc.
    by Simon Targett, John Butman
    When we think about the founding of America, we typically envision Pilgrims in black garb and boxy ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ensemble
    The Ensemble
    by Aja Gabel
    In May 1994, the members of the Van Ness String Quartet are completing their final graduate recital ...
  • Book Jacket: The Electric Woman
    The Electric Woman
    by Tessa Fontaine
    In 2010, author Tessa Fontaine's mother had a near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke, leaving her with a...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Harbor of Spies by Robin Lloyd

A captivating thriller-at-sea set in Spanish colonial Havana in the 1860s.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Comedown

The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin

A blistering dark comedy that explores delineating lines of race, class, religion, and time.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

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.