My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fevered Hills by Keith Deininger is a difficult book for me to review. For one, I think that it's brilliant. The problem is, I'm not entirely sure why I feel this way. All I can say is that I really enjoyed what I read.
Martin, A sixteen year old soldier escapes and returns home hoping to reacquaint himself with his parents. Unfortunately, he finds nothing but an empty home and a garden that's overgrown, the livestock dead in their pens.
But the war will not let him go. The soldiers are coming and there's nowhere for him to go but the pit he's accidentally found himself fallen in, and the two strangers who live there.
Fevered Hills excels at showing the reader the horrors of war and its effects not only the people of the countryside, but the human psyche of those who've had to fight within it. There is a creature element to the story that, if anything, only added to the "horrors of war" aspect to the story for me.
What impressed me most, however, was the writing style. It resembles Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oats. It brings to mind The Road and The Slaughterhouse-Five. There's serious stuff happening in Fevered Hills that we need to pay attention to, because it speaks of what we're made of as humans. How none of us are innocent, that everyone has grey areas. And if you were to put a serious war in the middle of this, then this becomes an interesting character study.
To answer my own question, I guess that's what I liked best about the book. It's honesty and unflinching look at the human condition.
Because Fevered Hills is a haunted character study. And I can't wait until I read more by this gifted author.
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