So Brave, Young and Handsome
Monte Becket has lost his sense of purpose. It is 1915, and he has become a bestselling author with his first published book. Living a simple life in Minnesota with his wife and young son, he experiences writers’ block while trying to pen his next novel. He befriends an older neighbor, Glendon Hale, whom he learns builds small boats. With his wife’s permission and understanding, Monte joins Hale on a quest to locate Hale’s wife, Blue, whom he deserted years ago. Monte soon learns that Hale is a wanted man with a relentless lawman on his heels. Monte is then faced with either following his newfound friend on his quest or returning home to the safety of his own family.
Leif Enger has followed his New York Times bestseller Peace Like a River with an excellent character study of three individuals: the protagonist, Monte Becket; the outlaw Glendon Hale; and the relentless ex-Pinkerton detective, Charlie Siringo. I found myself immersed in the chase, finding it fascinating to see how Siringo continued to remain on their trail. Can Hale remain free from the clutches of the wily detective? Will Becket ever see his family again, or will he face imprisonment for aiding Hale in his run from the law? Will Hale find his ex-wife, and what will happen when he does? The author pulls the story together in a manner that leaves the reader anxiously turning the pages to discover how it will all come out. Well-written with engaging dialog, this novel is highly recommended.