Mason, Daniel. A far country, a novel.

Author:Paldino, Lorie Johnson
Position:Brief article - Book review

MASON, Daniel. A far country, a novel. Random House, Vintage. 268p. c2007. 978-1-4000-3039-2. $13.95. SA

Isabel, her brother Isaac and their parents live in a primitive village in the backlands of a fictional far country. Mainly sugarcane sharecroppers, they attempt not to eke out a living, but merely to survive each passing season. The villagers are hopelessly tied to the whims of the weather, as drought, disease and starvation invariably come. Isabel, growing up in this environment, is watchful and sensitive. In fact, she even has a gift for sensing, and she is particularly in tune with her brother Isaac. This gift falls short, however, when Isaac moves to the city in search of prosperity, and Isabel follows soon after. Isabel manages to reach her cousin's shack, but Isaac is not there. She searches through months of trials, growing with each experience, yet still restless to find Isaac. She is ever fearful that her loss of innocence will sever the connection she shares with her brother.


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