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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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Enger, Lin: Undiscovered Country

  Amazon  

4.5 stars

Ten years afterwards, Jesse Matson tells the story of what happened--how he found his father dead in the woods when they were out hunting, an apparent suicide. Despite the coroner's determination, Jesse can't accept that his father killed himself. Harold Matson wouldn't have done that to his family; he wouldn't have done it to Jesse, whom he knew would be the one to find him. A nagging feeling in his gut leads Jesse to suspect that his father was murdered by his own brother. Jesse's Uncle Clay is a ne'er-do-well who has long resented his brother's success, in particular his success at getting the girl: Jesse's mother had dated Clay before she met and married Harold.

If the plot of Lin Enger's Undiscovered Country sounds familiar, the echo is intentional. The novel is a modern-day retelling--in five acts and complete with ghost--of Hamlet, set in the frigid temperatures of northern Minnesota. The relationship between the two stories is acknowledged in the book itself: Jesse is conscious that he's been cast as Hamlet in his own version of the tragedy.

The drama of Undiscovered Country lies not so much in uncovering the mystery of Harold Matson's death--though for much of the story there is room to doubt whether Jesse's instincts are correct. The suspense comes rather from waiting to see how Jesse will act on his suspicions, and whether the choice he makes will result in his own destruction.

What's particularly good about this book is its depiction of setting, the abiding cold that Enger's characters seem largely inured to. Reading it, one can almost feel the bite of the air, hear the crunch of snow breaking underfoot. Undiscovered Country is well-written, but it's also a page-turner. You'll want to keep reading it, even if you think you know what happens.

Comments

1.

Sounds interesting--I'll add this one to the list.

2.

I'll send you my copy, Gypsi.

3.

Each review I read of this book makes me want to read it more. I especially like that the setting is described so vividly; I enjoy that in books.

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