Wednesday, September 26, 2007

EFFIGY by Alissa York (2007)

Set in the mid 19th century in the American northwest on a polygamous Mormon farm, EFFIGY is a haunting story of the fourth wife to Erastus Hammer, a cruel horse-breaker who married Eudora/Dorrie for her peculiar talent as a taxidermist. It sounds loopy, but most of the narrative is heartbreaking as each of the lesser wives tries to placate the first wife who seems to run everyone as if they are part of a boot camp ordered by God.

York's prose is strong and visceral and entirely convincing. EFFIGY is longlisted for this year's Giller Prize for the best book of fiction in English published in Canada.

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