A Novel

Book - 2019
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"In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives collide. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman, alone in a house abandoned by the men in her life--her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her two older sons, who have gone in search of their father after his return is delayed. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, a boy with a bad eye who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home, and a seventeen year old maid named Josie, her husband's cousin who communes with spirits. Lurie is the son of a dead dockworker, a former outlaw, and a man haunted by ghosts--he sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires an epic journey across the West"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812992861
Characteristics: 374 pages ; 25 cm
Call Number: OBREHT, T


From Library Staff

AnnabelleLee27 Jun 22, 2020

An atmospheric western novel which follows two storylines that converge in a surprising, intense, and dramatic ending. The characters are not stereotypical but are richly developed, complex, and haunted (quite literally). This amazing, moving, and enthralling story is skillfully written with ke... Read More »

"Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history."

Nicr Aug 24, 2019

The converging stories of flinty Nora Lark, homesteading wife and mother, waiting for her husband Emmett's return with water during an 1893 Arizona drought, and the outlaw Lurie, who takes up with the U.S. Camel Corps and then takes off with a camel named Burke, the companion to whom he tells his... Read More »

List - Summer Reads
bibliosara Jun 07, 2019

This highly anticipated second novel, an epic historical western, by Tea Obreht will release August 13th.

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Jul 28, 2020

The crux of magical realism is the realism, because the magical can obviously range far and wide. And while some reviewers praised Obreht for her historical accuracy, they were referring to the historical record of the US Army Camel Corps.
But the life of a homesteader on the parched 1893 Arizona landscape simply does not ring true. The town doctor, who has been hanging on for over a decade while not being paid, manages to import a gas stove.
Hooked up to what, exactly?
And the printing press on which much of the plot depends runs on electricity.
From what possible source? If the town had electricity (there is no suggestion it does, other than the fact the press has been putting out a newspaper...), certainly they would have an electric pump on a drilled well.
Near the end of the novel, during an extremely improbably dinner (during which Nora splints the sheriff's compound fracture of the tibia with... a kitchen spoon - and he walks out on this!!!), Nora asks Toby if he had milk that day. "No milk" replies for Toby.
So... it's a homestead with no milk, which means no cow. So where was Nora expecting him to source milk, the fridge???
It's disappointing when a good writer produces such a poor effort. As a sometime editor, I miss the days when an editor would have caught these errors, or the fact that a shotgun does not fire "a bullet".

AnnabelleLee27 Jun 22, 2020

An atmospheric western novel which follows two storylines that converge in a surprising, intense, and dramatic ending. The characters are not stereotypical but are richly developed, complex, and haunted (quite literally). This amazing, moving, and enthralling story is skillfully written with keen insight and attention to detail making it worthwhile and unexpected read.

ArapahoeRead Mar 23, 2020

Interesting novel that interweaves an epic story of the West with an intimate look at life on the frontier. Its character-driven style might not be for everyone, but I was fascinated by this new take on a "Western."

Feb 10, 2020

The beauty of this book is the seamless interweaving of the living and the dead. It is a story that takes place in the Old West – the draw of the new frontier, hard lives, strong women, and the eternal bond between a camel and his cameleer. Scarcity of water is an overarching theme symbolized by a canteen that is never allowed to be completely emptied. Instead, waters from different rivers and lakes encountered by the traveller are co-mingled in that canteen. It's a beautiful story, one that stays with you after finishing the last page.

Jan 29, 2020

A very long and drawn out tale of how a homesteading women waits for water, her husband while completely unaware of her children. Mean while there is an equally long and drawn out tale of turkish man and his camel. The jacket cover indicates a meeting which well explain all. I found the plot, characters and writing lacked depth. Very disappointing as a story.

Jan 20, 2020

Arizona 1893

Jan 16, 2020

A frontier woman waits for her husband to return with water. A Muslim man rides a camel across the United States. While the plot of the two POV characters may seem pedestrian on first glance, it is the prose that raises this novel to great heights. With so many memorable characters, scenes, and settings described, Obreht masterfully paints the American West, giving weight to simple pursuits and deriving meaning from a late 1800s-understanding of domestic survival. Not every thread is resolved, but the story is complete.

PimaLib_SWBooks Jan 03, 2020

On the parched high desert of the Arizona Territory, Nora measures her days by drops. Lured to the mining settlement by her restless husband and dried to flint, Nora shapes a life out of little as she fights to stay on ground long played out. When Emmett fails to return from a search for water, their oldest boys light out to chase whispers of ambush and murder, leaving Nora with her youngest son, her clairvoyant, simple-minded niece and her aged mother-in-law. And always, the voice of her long-dead daughter. After a lifetime mired in misadventure among shady companions, Lurie accompanies a camel caravan west as part of an ill-conceived experiment powered by the US Army. Haunted by his past, Lurie breaks from the caravan on his favorite camel and the pair crisscross the West in their “suffering journey” before colliding with Nora. Obreht crafts a mystical mirage of gritty realism that deserves to be read and reread for its sheer beauty. - Vicki Ann Duraine, Southwest Books of the Year 2019, Pima County Public Library

Dec 06, 2019

Feel the thirst!
Inland has been well worth the wait; a flawless work of art, a very enjoyable reading experience.
Ms. Obreht is a fabulous storyteller, on par with the best. She takes the reader into the parched Arizona desert during the severe drought of the 1890’s where we join the characters of "Inland", feeling the deadly heat and lack of water. That is the setting for two converging stories. And as in her first novel, "The Tiger’s Wife", you will be treated to stories within the stories which contain frequent contact with the “other living”.
For me, this was a vocabulary lesson. I learned a dozen or more new words. Have your Webster’s close by. Also, there are several historical people and events referred to or alluded to which were not covered in my high school American History class. Although not necessary, you too may enjoy researching those.

Oct 17, 2019

Pretty sure I will never read another of her books. I was disappointed in Tiger's Wife, and this one also. She writes well, but good writing isn't the only thing a book needs to live. I find her characters appalling and unlikeable, and hate spending time in their presence.

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