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West
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
From the winner of the 2015 Frank O'Connor Short Story Award, an exquisite, slender first novel set on the American frontier about a restless widower who heads west on a foolhardy and perilous expedition in search of unknown animals, leaving his intrepid young daughter behind to fend for herself at home. Addled by grief and dissatisfaction, thirty-five-year-old mule breeder John Cyrus Bellman takes one step and then another. With a small compass and meager provisions, he sets off into the wild frontier beyond his small farm in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on a doomed quest prompted by reports of colossal animal bones found in Kentucky. Promising to return in two years, Bellman leaves behind his only daughter Bess to the tender mercies of his taciturn sister Julie. With only a battered wall clock, her dead mothers gold ring, and a barnyard full of miserable animals to call her own, Bess is forced to make her way in a deceptively hostile world, tracing her fathers path with arcane maps at the local subscription library and shrinking from the attentions paid to her and her aunt by their peculiar neighbor Elmer Jackson. Meanwhile, Bellman ventures farther into the harsh and alien landscape of the west, forging an uneasy but intimate fellowship with his guide, an American Indian boy who regards him with both suspicion and a piercing understanding. As father and daughter alike reach out into their own respective wildernesses, they find that the wilderness holds out its hands to them as well. Bold and lyrical, this brief epic transports readers to the beginning of the nineteenth century to explore themes of reckless determination, existential yearning, wonder, and isolation in a majestic and unforgiving landscape.
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lauraisntwilder
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

My weekend reading.

City of the Beasts is my son's. He liked it better than I did, but still thought the depiction of the native people of the Amazon was insensitive. ("Did they have to be called yellow on every page?") I thought the writing was a bit stiff for Allende.

West was surprising. It had a satisfying ending that didn't go the way I thought it would.

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StellaB
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

This is a beautifully crafted short novel about a man who has lost his wife and, after reading about the discovery of some unknown animal bones, leaves his young daughter in the hands of his sister to search for these mysterious animals. The writing is very sophisticated, with a great feel for what needs to be told in detail and what can be left to the reader‘s imagination. Highly recommended!

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BarbaraBB
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

In 1815 a widower leaves behind his home in Pennsylvania, to travel west to Kentucky in search of giant animals he heard about.
He leaves behind his 10 year old daughter who is certain he‘ll return and keeps waiting for him.

This is quite a dark and atmospheric read about the early days of the US. I felt for the daughter, not for the silly father! Thanks again Cindy 🥰

Cinfhen Agreed- very atmospheric and that poor girl 😩 1y
Tamra Carys Davies is an auto buy author for me. I just love her work! 1y
BarbaraBB @Tamra This is my first book by her. Which would you recommend? 1y
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Tamra @BarbaraBB all of them! I started with her collections of short stories, the first being The Redemption of Galen Pike. She doesn‘t have an extensive catalog - I wish she published more often! 1y
Librariana In the story... do we follow the widower on his travels? Or do we get to stay with the child and learn what becomes of her? Or both? (So many questions!) Also.... how do you just LEAVE a kiddo while you go gallivanting to Kentucky!? This book would probably give me anxiety if I didn't get to know what happens to the daughter 😣 1y
BarbaraBB @Librariana We follow them both. In very sparse but impressive proza. But the reason why he left her and the fact that he left her were annoying for me too!! 1y
BarbaraBB @Tamra Thank you. I looked them up and they do sound good! 1y
britt_brooke Does this take place mostly in Kentucky? That‘s my home state, so you‘ve def piqued my interest. #stacked 1y
BarbaraBB @britt_brooke I‘m not sure if he‘s travelling the right way (without a map) and he never mentions Kentucky again though he does mention geographic points which you might recognize. It definitely gives a feel of those early 19th century days out in the ‘west‘. 1y
britt_brooke @BarbaraBB Okay, interesting, thank you! 1y
78 likes3 stack adds10 comments
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NatalieR
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

10-year-old Bess‘ father leaves her in the care of her aunt while he goes in search of mysterious, enormous animals he has read about. We follow Mr. Bellman on his rugged, horseback adventure and keep up with Bess as she grows to age 12. Quite interesting story told in a novella size. #MountTBR

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Librariannt
West | Carys Davies
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I enjoyed this book tremendously. The characterization, as well as the descriptions of the land, is so well done, especially given the brevity of the book. More please!

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Lillie
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Panpan

Novella that just doesn't live up to the hype. A father leaves his 10 year old daughter with his sister so he can explore the west for huge animals that are rumored to exist based on the fossilized bones that were found. Basically didn't like any of the adults in the book. The only two tolerable people were the daughter and the young Indian boy who guides the father. Author can write, just disliked the story. 🌟🌟

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Bookzombie
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this and wish it had been longer. Cy Bellman reads in the newspaper about enormous ancient bones and heads west to find them, leaving behind his 10 year old daughter, Bess. The story alternates between Bellman‘s journey and Bess at home, lonely and waiting for his return. This book has been on my mind because of my current read tagged below. #LLB19 #amrbooktbrtemptation

Read in May.

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TheEllieMo
West | Carys Davies
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Book: West by Carys Davies

Film: The Unforgiven

Song: John Wayne is Big Leggy by Haysi Fantayzee

#ManicMonday @JoScho

JoScho Thanks for playing 🖤🤠🖤 3y
26 likes1 comment
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Nebklvr
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Mehso-so

The plot was great just incomplete. I don‘t see what all of the fuss is about this book!

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derekhayn
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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ClairesReads
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

This novel is slight and quiet, but still manages to discuss big ideas, draw vivid portrait of a place, and construct characters with depth. This is a novel you savour sentence by sentence, and are compelled to read on. In many ways this isn‘t a new story; it leans on the western genre to tell a familiar tale of fated journeys, American exceptionalism, and the arrogance of the white man in the face of nature, and those who have come before.

erzascarletbookgasm Great review and this photo is 👌 3y
mklong Wow, that sounds great! 3y
ClairesReads @mklong I mean, it‘s probably not for everyone- it‘s sparse, and sort of leaves a lot unsaid or implied. But that‘s my jam and I really thought it was brilliant. I hope you get to read it and love it too sometime. 3y
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ClairesReads @erzascarletbookgasm thank you so much. That doormat is great for book photos! 3y
TheLibrarian Great review!! 3y
mklong Yep, leaving much unsaid is my jam too 3y
Gillyreads Sounds really interesting 3y
NatalieR Awesome review! 3y
Tamra So glad you liked it! 3y
readordierachel Sounds very timely. 3y
Redwritinghood Nice review! With this story, I had only wished that it was a bit longer. 3y
Suet624 Ooohhh, sounds so good. Beautiful photo. 3y
ClairesReads @NatalieR @Gillyreads @Tamra @readordierachel thank you- it‘s a great read (IMO) 3y
ClairesReads @Redwritinghood I totally get that Jerrie, even though I sort of enjoyed its brevity. 3y
ClairesReads @Suet624 it‘s really good- highly recommended. 3y
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ClairesReads
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Um this is quite good aye?

mklong Aye! 3y
ClairesReads @mklong have you read this one Katie? 3y
mklong No, but that quote is amazing. One more for the TBR. 3y
ClairesReads @mklong I loved it WAY MORE than I expected to 3y
30 likes4 comments
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ClairesReads
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Recommended by a friend.

Emilymdxn Gorgeous cover! 3y
Tamra Davies is a favorite author - autobuy for me! 3y
batsy I bought this recently. Probably because of @Tamra 😁 (yet to read, though!) 3y
ClairesReads @Emilymdxn it‘s a stunner right? 3y
ClairesReads @batsy @Tamra I‘ve not read Davies before but excited by this one 3y
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TheEllieMo
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Mehso-so

I had high hopes for this book when it started, but it seemed to just peter out. It‘s pleasant enough, and “worthy” in its theme of extinction and collective loss.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I finished this about a week ago and liked it. I was surprised at how short it was. 3y
TheEllieMo @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I didn‘t dislike like it, it was a pleasant and occasionally disturbing read. I think it could have been better for being a bit longer, maybe, it seemed to be over very soon. 3y
Nebklvr @TheEllieMo I so agree with this sentiment 3y
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Tashreads
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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It finally feels like Autumn in Australia 🇦🇺 🍂 and cool enough to go to the beach 🏖

rmaclean4 One of my favorite books of last year ❤️❤️❤️ 3y
Tashreads @rmaclean4 just finished it! A 5 star read for me too 😊⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3y
rmaclean4 @Tashreads so glad you discovered this gem!! 3y
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Mitch
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

Darker than I was expecting, with unexpected menace lurking behind the nostalgia. Its the twinned stories of Cy, widowed & seeking out to adventure 'west' in search of creatures from a former era & Bess,his 10 yr old daughter left behind. Written with a sparse beauty it deftly draws us through the landscape. With themes of 'difference', fears of the unknown & a passion to find the unfindable - a historical novel with lots of modern day relevance.

BookNAround Her short stories are amazing so I am glad to see a novel was brilliant too. 3y
Mitch @BookNAround I‘ve not read anything by her before. What should I go to next do you think.? This was more an extended short story really. I could tell she likes the brevity and density of short stories ! 3y
BookNAround @Mitch The one I read and loved was 3y
Mitch @BookNAround thanks honey xxxx 3y
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TheEllieMo
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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1. The tagged book is my book club‘s choice for this month, I‘m liking it so far.

2. I don‘t think the 1995 adaption of Pride & Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth will ever be beaten.

3. Goodreads

#WeekendReads
@rachelsbrittain

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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Book outlet haul! 🤗
Have already started reading West and love it.

TheEllieMo My book club chose West as its read this month 😁 3y
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TheLibrarian
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Next up on this semi-relaxing Saturday!

What are you reading this weekend?

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Kazzie
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
Pickpick

Quick, succinct read.

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HardcoverHearts
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Just finished West, and the hype was valid. The imagery, the characters, the encroaching menace, and ending were just exceptional. (That ending!!!) It‘s a fast and powerful reading experience and I will never forgot some of the descriptions and characters in this book. Hat tip to @SavidgeReads and Russell from Ink and Paper Blog for recommending this during our City Lights stroll! You were both right.

LeahBergen I really need to grab a copy of this! 3y
HardcoverHearts @LeahBergen I don‘t think you will be disappointed! 3y
Tamra I 💜 Davies! 3y
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HardcoverHearts @Tamra This was my first time reading her writing. Anything else you would recommend? 3y
Tamra @HardcoverHearts I‘ve read her collections of short stories and this is my favorite. She is an auto-buy for me. 👍🏾 3y
HardcoverHearts @Tamra Wonderful! I have heard that was good. I don‘t always gel with short stories- sometimes I find the form too jarring. I like to ease into a story. But maybe I should give hers a try. The ending of this book had a similar short story type finish- abrupt but ended at a great point to tie it off neatly. 3y
Tamra @HardcoverHearts some are quite short, so perhaps not. But I never felt like the characters or situations were underdeveloped. 😊 (edited) 3y
HardcoverHearts @Tamra that‘s exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you! 3y
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reluctantangeleno
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

Still kind of processing this book, but I really liked it. The writing is very sparse and to the point, but it was still emotionally engaging for me. Part adventure, part coming of age, and part tragedy. Which is sort of the story of the American West, now that I've written that...

I picked this up because I read a review in the Daily Mail and it sounded interesting, glad I did! Curious about this author's short story collections.

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wallacereads
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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A gift from someone who knows me well. How gorgeous is this cover?!

DivineDiana It‘s a beauty! 4y
Tamra Cannot go wrong with Davies! 4y
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Cinfhen
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

WOW! This slim novel really packs a hefty punch 💥With striking prose and vivid imagery, one feels like they‘ve journeyed out West on the same nonsensical quest that Cy Bellman traveled. Believing that dinosaurs may still exist, Bellman a widower and father of a young daughter leaves home in hopes of capturing the majestic creatures. Bess his lonely daughter most now face the loss of both her mother & father while he goes out West. 👇🏼

Cinfhen Thank you so much @Jess I LOVED this book 🦖🦕🦖🦕 4y
Billypar You sold me- great summary! 4y
Cinfhen It‘s really a masterpiece considering its slim and compact size @Billypar 4y
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled This sounds really good - stacked! 4y
Centique Brilliant review! 4y
Cinfhen Thanks @Centique @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled hope you guys get a chance to read this book 😊 4y
TrishB Although it sounds really interesting - the size just puts me off! But lunch looks great 😘 4y
LeahBergen I want some of that salad. 🥗 4y
123 likes5 stack adds8 comments
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Cinfhen
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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So this book was calling to me this morning and so far it‘s fabulous. Thank you to the awesome @Jess who gifted this book to me and another thank you to @dariazeoli for the wonderful holiday card!!! I love the design and heartfelt wish xx what could be better #GoodBooksAndGoodCompany ❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚Thanks again, #LitsyFriends you guys are the most generous and caring people on the planet 🙌🏻#FeelingBlessed 😊

Jess Nice! I‘m so glad you like it so far. Enjoy. 4y
dariazeoli Yay! Glad it reached you! ❤️ 4y
Cinfhen Honestly, the card made my day @dariazeoli and I‘m almost done the book @Jess 😃Her writing is gorgeous but so subtle. Thanks so much for gifting it to me. And the cover makes me sooooo happy 😊 4y
101 likes3 comments
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Blair_Reads
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

So much packed into fewer than 200 pages! Loved it. Will read it again.

Cinfhen I must read this already #2019Goals (edited) 4y
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Blair_Reads
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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It‘s raining 🌧 outside so I‘m all snuggled up with a new 📖 and my Daisy 🌸 🐶

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amybiscoe
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️One of my favorites from this year. I had never read Carys Davies before, but I immediately purchased two of her short story collections. It‘s also one of the rare books that my husband and I both read.

RaimeyGallant Nice review. :) And welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon Some of us put together Litsy tips to help new Littens navigate the site. It's the link in my bio on my page in case you need it. Or if you prefer how-to videos, @chelleo put some together at the link in her bio. @LitsyWelcomeWagon 4y
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 👋🏻😊🌸 4y
rather_be_reading welcome to litsy!! 📚🎉📚 4y
See All 7 Comments
Chelleo Welcome 🤗 4y
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 📖💙 4y
Wife Welcome to Litsy!🌹 4y
9 likes7 comments
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GivenLemons
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

A short and sweet Western. It both felt small and personal as well as grand. The writing was understated, but gave a fantastic sense of place and character. #western

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ladyneverwhere
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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"You had so many ways of deciding which way to live your life. It made his head spin to think of them. It hurt his heart to think that he had decided on the wrong way." ❤️

amybiscoe That is the quote that I wrote in my reading journal and read aloud to my husband. Such a heartbreaking summation of the ramifications surrounding this choice he made. 4y
ladyneverwhere @amybiscoe I know, it's so heartbreaking! 4y
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Sydsavvy
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

So, yes it‘s a short worthwhile read. Here‘s a quote I loved:

Sometimes, to encourage himself, he laid his head against its soft, leaflike ears and whispered: “Remember there are no gods. We have ourselves and nothing else.”

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Sydsavvy
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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I‘ve been doing something (exciting, can‘t wait to tell ya‘ll) that‘s kept me from reading as much 😳😰. So many books I must catch up on! Here is a short one to kick start the great Catch-Up. So far it‘s beautiful but I‘m still trying to figure out why. Why am I reading this? What does it mean? 🤔 Why is it published? Why did this father really have to leave his daughter to go do this thing?

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rmaclean4
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

First book of #24in48 completed!! Beautiful compact book. It reminded me of Days without End by Sebastian Barry in it's tone and setting. Makes me want to read other books by Cays Davies.

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Cinfhen
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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#HeatOfJuly playing catch-up #BeWithYou “I rose and rubbed my limbs, slapped them awake, trying to ward off a rising hysteria. This is what it will be, every day, without him. I felt a wild-eyed tightness in my chest, like a scream. Every day, without him." [Song of Achilles] and can‘t wait to read WEST, which was gifted to me by the adorable @Jess #WildWildWest

Gina I've been in a wild west mood this summer and this looks like aces! 4y
BarbaraBB Great quote 😍 4y
Reggie Patroclus!!!!!!😭😭😭 4y
Cinfhen I know @Reggie 😭😭😭 4y
Cinfhen @shawnmooney did an awesome booktube about WEST @gina he totally sold me on the book! Can‘t wait to read it 4y
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Rcoco
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

Loved this little gem of a book. Recommend for fans of News of the World.

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Matchkim
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

Short chapters, back and forth perspectives, and beautiful writing. What more could you want.

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Becker
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

Such a big tale packed into such a slim book. A very thoughtful and well constructed story.

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shawnmooney
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

In 1815 a silly man leaves behind his young daughter in Pennsylvania, and his widower grief, traveling afar in search of live dinosaurs. Davies spins a spare novel out of the essential American threads of idiotic settler maleness, racism, sexual violence, and genocide. Oscar Wilde said “I cannot think otherwise than in stories.“ I say that from here on in I shall be unable to think about America without casting my thoughts back upon this novel.

saresmoore Ooh, what an endorsement! Stacked, obviously. 4y
LeeRHarry Me too, stacked! 😊 4y
LeahBergen This has been on my “buy” list! 4y
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batsy Wow! Fab review. I would have stacked it again if I could! 4y
Cinfhen I‘ve been watching your vlog with Doris!!!! I ❤️Doris! You guys really sold me on this book #stacked 4y
shawnmooney @Cinfhen Awesome! 😍😍 4y
Suet624 Stacked. 4y
59 likes8 stack adds7 comments
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jhod
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

Fabulous novella - an intrepid explorer heads across America on the search for giant animals leaving his beloved 10 year old behind. I read it whilst travelling South....

BarbaraBB Where are you? Your pictures are great! 4y
jhod @BarbaraBB thanks! Now in Valencia - been travelling down coast from Barcelona... 4y
BarbaraBB Cool. Valencia is such a great city. My favorite in Spain. Enjoy! 4y
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shawnmooney
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Suet624 So sad... 4y
29 likes1 comment
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RedbagReadbooks
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Mehso-so

2.5/5💡. I like this author but I didn‘t get this book. Lot of characters left underdeveloped and the books seemed a little thin

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shawnmooney
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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LeahBergen I really want to read this one. Don‘t bail! 😂 4y
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shawnmooney
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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LitDrivenGirl
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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I did a bad, bad thing... I checked out more library books even though I promised I wouldn't. Hey, West is a short read, In Real Life easy, and Molly Idle's children's books? I'm keeping those, so yeah they don't count 😉.

#libraryloot #SaturdayBooks #tbr #mollyidle

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Redwritinghood
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

I‘m a little on the fence between pick and so-so with this one. The writing is strong, so I‘m rounding up. It is a short book and seems quiet, but is about some big issues. Mainly, it is about the hubris of the white men in the early days of the US, their belief in their own greatness and assumptions about their entitlements to the natural world, over the native people, and over women. A subtly drawn, spare story. Audiobook is on Hoopla.

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SarahMillerBooks
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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LeahBergen I‘m looking forward to this one. 👍🏻 4y
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MrBook
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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#TBRtemptation post 1! Widowed mule breeder act Bellman reads in the newspaper that giant monster bones have been found in Kentucky. He sets out from his Pennsylvania farm on a 2-year quest to see them for himself & see if he can find one alive. He leaves his farm to his sister & daughter Bess, who is coming into womanhood. While tending the boring farm, she traces her father's routes through library subscription maps. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

69 likes4 stack adds
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Well-ReadNeck
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Panpan

I just didn‘t get it. 🤔 This one has lots of hype, but nothing really happens. If it weren‘t so short, I would have bailed.

Andrea4 Nope = best review! 4y
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parasolofdoom
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

I have no idea what I liked so much but I definitely liked it. It seems... I don't want to say aimless exactly but it's a very small, concise story that will likely have some wondering what the point was. I very much liked that it avoided long exposition and it was quite poignant without needing to go on about it.

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Well-ReadNeck
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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#LibraryHaul

Oooooh! Lots of goodies to dive into this week!

charl08 This pne is new to me - love those Europa editions. 4y
107 likes1 comment