After losing his wife and baby daughter to a wildfire that ravaged much of the valley in which they lived, Robert Grainer labours to rebuild his life during the transformation of early 20th century North West America, in this Pulitzer shortlisted novella.
Moving slowly and not burdened by over-explanation or description, it is an astonishingly gripping read.
Johnson’s simple writing allows you to focus on the tragedy of Grainer, who struggles to adapt to an ever-changing world.
Having lost all that matters, he seeks comfort in his own company and falls into a life of solitude, almost completely void of the complications of human interaction.
Sleeping naked outside and howling at the night to encourage wolf cubs, some may argue he goes mad.
Awe-inspiring and heartbreaking, exciting and humbling, this is a recommended read.