“A summer selection from Port Townsend, I wanted something from/about the area. The surprise is the focus on the US civil war and impact on the survivor living on the Olympic Peninsula. The protagonist's journey thru racism, war and redemption to turn shattered life to meaning takes place in...”see full review » see other reviews »
“A long, slow read, many words, much thought. Good hook of a Prologue. But the Wilderness is not the wilderness of the Olympic Peninsula, but the Civil War Battle of the Wilderness, May 1864. A tale of damaged souls; and that dogs will come to the rescue. Weller's trying to tell us something: could it be that evil exists, and always will, but we must "take responsibility of what's ours and let go of the rest," whatever that means.”Snowy Owl wrote this review Tuesday, October 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A summer selection from Port Townsend, I wanted something from/about the area. The surprise is the focus on the US civil war and impact on the survivor living on the Olympic Peninsula. The protagonist's journey thru racism, war and redemption to turn shattered life to meaning takes place in flashbacks & struggles. A solid read.”Dennis N wrote this review Saturday, August 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Amazing story. Weller's descriptions and prose take you there. The sounds, the sights, the smells--wonderful detail without being superfluous. Chilling detail about the horror of war--another reviewer commented it helped understand why those who have such experiences do not wish to speak of them. I certainly agree. Abel is wonderful with all his courage and flaws, it helped me to re-read the first chapter (Janes recollections) to tie things fully.”Leslie J wrote this review Wednesday, May 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Gorgeous. A beautiful and chilling debut. Extremely descriptive but I didn't find it tedious. I did have a hard time, in the beginning, keeping track of people, places, and times but once I got used to the style it was wonderful. The ending took my breath.”Tricia wrote this review Monday, March 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really liked it. It did take awhile to get into. This book doesn't throw it all at you, it lets it develop and grow. The writing style is wordy, yet deep. It slows you down. However, I did tire of the "as though..." sentences but enjoyed the unique, "this and that...". The plot followed a southern rebels journey between the civil war and late 1800's from the Battle of the WIlderness to the Northwestern US (wilderness). Maybe the most vivid description of a civil war battle that I have ever read. I can understand why those that participate in these events do not choose to speak of it. Yet the book is more about humanity: suffering, brutality, loss, charity, and an examination of the fits and starts of our cultural growth (racial acceptance).”Mr. Dill Pickle wrote this review Wednesday, February 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wilderness opens like a poem, demanding your attention, requesting your ear. The lyrical prose makes one slow to its cadence and learn to read all over again. Yet, the story itself, what I consider central to a novel, loses me in the end. If you are a fan of literary fiction it is well worth the read--the prose is polished and wondrous, and there were many moments when the turn of phrase took my breath away. Yet, the characters themselves I found wanting and one dimensional. Abel, as the central character, is the most robust and evokes the most empathy, but the other characters lacked depth and development; I only felt sorry for them. The brutality and violence of the Civil War, as well as the western territories during the 19th Century in which the novel is set, take center stage, and the author cannot seem to wrest a human individual from this time, except to define her/him by the violence done against them. I wish that Weller had turned his gifted writing to develop the characters in his novel; if the attention he paid to describe the landscapes should turn to evoke the intricacies of the human heart, the work would be outstanding.