Wilderness by Lance Weller; 2012; $25.00; 293 pages; Bloomsbury, New York, NY; 978-1-60819-937-2; Checked out from Multnomah County Library; Gresham; 1/21-1/23

Why did I pick this up?  I met Lance at Wordstock last year when I got Bruce Holberts’ signature, and I told Lance that I hadn’t read his book yet but that I would.

What is the story?  Abel Truman fights for the Rebs during the Civil War at the Battle of Wilderness and is severely wounded and afterwards makes his way to the wilderness of Washington.  This is the story of the people he encounters while he is in the Army, after he is wounded and as he makes his way in the wilds of Washington.  He makes friends with a few people and has a dog that is important to him.  His friends are very important to him and influence some of the decisions he makes.

Did I like it?  This reminded me of a book I read back in 2001 called Perfect Silence by Jeff Hutton, which is also set in the Civil War.  Both books have a lushness about them, it is like watching a painting come to life.  I remember defining the book as one of the lushest I have read, and Lance Wellers Wilderness would also fit into that category.  Weller uses words like paint, and sentences are like the paintbrush that bring the picture to life.


What is with the title of the review?  The book tells the story of Abel Truman as he fights at the Battle of the Wilderness and as he fights for survival in the wilderness of Washington state.