Inland

Inland

by Téa Obreht

Hardcover

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Overview

The New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife returns with “a bracingly epic and imaginatively mythic journey across the American West” (Entertainment Weekly).
 
In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives unfold. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life—her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.
 
Meanwhile, Lurie is 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 a momentous expedition across the West. The way in which Lurie’s death-defying trek at last intersects with Nora’s plight is the surprise and suspense of this brilliant novel.
 
Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history. It showcases all of Téa Obreht’s talents as a writer, as she subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West, making them entirely—and unforgettably—her own.

Advance praise for Inland
 
“This is no boilerplate Louis L’Amour yarn—there are ghosts, camels and other fantastical elements.”Newsday (Best Summer Books 2019)
 
“The long-anticipated second novel from Téa Obreht transports readers to the Wild West through the juxtaposed stories of a frontierswoman whose husband and sons have gone missing, and of an outlaw on the run.”Bustle

“Magnificent . . . brings to mind similar effects in, say, Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude or Toni Morrison’s Beloved.”The Times Literary Supplement
 
“Obreht masterfully intertwines [Nora’s and Lurie’s] seemingly unconnected stories with the rich prose, nods to history, and elements of magical realism she’s known for.”Real Simple
 
“It will enchant lovers of lyrical prose and the mythical American West.”Harper’s Bazaar

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812992861
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/13/2019
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 98
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Téa Obreht’s debut novel, The Tiger's Wife, won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was an international bestseller. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and Zoetrope: All-Story, among many others. Originally from the former Yugoslavia, she now lives in New York with her husband and teaches at Hunter College.

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Inland: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 5 days ago
WOW! I'm a fan of westerns but this is the first I've read told from a woman's perspective. It will stir up feelings like only an great book can. Tea Obreht has given us a world and it's characters that are so real you can see them in your mind. As the family struggles and circumstances build, you will try to guess where the story is going. You will be surprised. A very emotional story that reminds me of Cherokee America.
MKF 5 days ago
This is an unusual and at time challenging read. Set primarily in 1893 Arizona, it's told from the perspectives of Nora, a woman coping with incredible challenges, and Lurie, a criminal who is transporting a camel named Burke for the US Army. Nora's family ran out of water and her husband has gone to look for it, leaving her to care for her children and gramma- all of whom have physical or emotional issues. To cope, she talks to her daughter Evelyn, who is dead. Lurie has a wider range of ghosts to talk with and about- orphaned at 6, he made his way into adulthood with both petty and bigger crimes. Obrecht has written a tale where these characters intersect- and it's believable. It is not a straight line narrative and there are times when it didn't entirely make sense, at least to me. That's ok because the writing is amazing. I was not familiar with the camel corps - so it was a bonus to learn about it as well as about the hardships of living in Arizona during a drought. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This is quite different from the Tiger's Wife and it's excellent.
CRSK 5 days ago
4.5 Stars It’s been around eight years since I read Téa Obreht’s debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, but the fact that I loved the beautiful writing and the story had been enough incentive for me to request this second novel, Inland. I’m so glad that I did. This story has a duel narrative, which kept me on my toes, and wanders over time, over centuries, and around the world in one of the narratives. Over the course of a day in another narrative, traveling through time using memories revisited, times and places, loves and losses over a lifetime. Through all of this, Obreht weaves this story of the early days of the Arizona Territory, 1893, with an enchanting sprinkling of magical realism, as well as a spiritual connection – both of these two narrators have conversations with, and connections to the dead. This isn’t a carefree, cheerful read, yet it doesn’t dwell in the harshness of these lives. There is much pondering and wonderment of their surroundings, as bleak as they are, and through these we learn their stories. Obreht manages to skillfully weave into this story the historical experimentation of the United States Camel Corps. using camels as pack animals in the Southwest during the mid-19th-century development of the country. The US Army eventually decided to abandon this project, despite the camels’ stamina. This added another layer to the story, but what I loved most about this was the vivid portrayal of the era, the landscape, and the memories of these two people, their stories, as well as their conversations with those who haunt their days and nights. If there were brief moments while reading this where it felt as though I had wandered in the desert too long, the breathtaking ending is one that will remain etched in my mind. Many thanks for the ARC provided by to Random House Publishing Group – Random House
labmom55 3 days ago
2.5 stars, rounded down I picked this purely because I thought it took place in Arizona and I’ve always wanted to read a historical novel from the Arizona Territory days. I have not read Obreht’s prior book. This one just never grabbed me. Told from two POVs, Lurie, a wanted man from Missouri who becomes a cameleer, and Nora, a frontier woman awaiting the return of her husband and older sons, it was choppy and stilted. Both are haunted by ghosts. In Laurie’s case, they literally make demands of him. And his narrative is directed to the camel he leads across the west. Nora holds conversations with her dead daughter. I debated just putting this one down numerous times. The pace of this book is as slow as a desert tortoise. The story also meanders across time and place. To be honest, I only kept reading because other reviews mentioned how great the ending was (and it was worth finishing for the ending). In a way, it reminded me of Lincoln in the Bardo, similar language and of course, the ghosts. If you like that book, you’ll probably like this one. I didn't care for either. I was an outlier on that book and will probably by on this one as well. Also, I had to do some research, but it would appear that Nora’s homestead was actually in what is now New Mexico, up close to the Four Corners. While the author spends a lot of time writing about the homestead, she didn’t give me a real sense of place. Anyone who has spent time in NM and AZ knows how different the landscape can be and I resented having to research it to get a better feel. And despite them being down to their last cups of water, huge periods of time pass when it doesn’t factor into the story at all. And how can there be mud in a drought? Little things like that irritated me. I did enjoy the story about the camels and their trek. In fact, the relationship between Burke and Lurie was the one part of the story I did enjoy. My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.
CPAC2012 4 days ago
It’s 1893, town of Amargo, Arizona Territory... Nora Lark has been expecting her husband for three days now since he went to the nearest water source to bring back the precious liquid they are living without, due to one of the harshest droughts in decades. Nora is, to a certain extent, unconcerned by the delay because her husband Emmet has taken longer in the past to return home from a trip. However, this time is different. Nora is having to contend with two growing sons acting out, her third, younger child’s overactive imagination, an ongoing dispute between neighbors, and Amargo and the adjacent town’s bitter fight for a council seat that may decide the fate of a railroad line. I haven’t read Téa Obreht’s debut The Tiger’s Wife, though I have had it on my TBR almost since its release. However, upon recognizing her name, I decided to plunge into her newest effort and... what an adventure it was! Inland is a polished, deeply literary and ambitious novel—all the more remarkable because it is a sophomore work that shows an author already at the top of her writing prowess. The story develops over the course of a very fluid 24-hours in which readers are treated not only to the minutiae of hard, daily living in the Old West, but also to the backstories of a cast of characters that practically jump out of the page for being so brilliantly fleshed out. Us readers, thus, become witnesses to these characters’ inevitable fates, for secrets will come to light that may threaten the very fabric of their lives. Inland is genre-bending; a Western with a huge comedic component, especially in the first quarter of the novel. Afterwards, the humor becomes less frequent and a bit toned down, though not less successful, giving way to all the drama. Lawmen with tarnished pasts, outlaws on the run, cattle barons, newspaper writers barely scraping by, Mexicans, Native settlers, immigrants from all over, ghosts, camels, and a mythical beast, are the images of daily life in the American frontier, circa 1893, and who knew all these elements would come together, despite being seemingly familiar, to be so funny and fresh in the adept hands of Ms. Obreht. Disclaimer: I received from the publisher a free e-galley of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Rhonda-Runner1 5 days ago
When I requested this book, I was hoping it was going to be a historical fiction chronicling early pioneer life and/or exploration in Arizona. I was very disappointed that it was not. It was confusing at times but I found the second half of the book was slightly better than the first half. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I will give it 2.5 stars.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Fiction fans are always on the lookout for that breakout debut novelist. Such was the case with Tea Obreht and “The Tiger’s Wife”, which was such a great big hit in 2011. I am always just as curious about the follow-up. Does it come out quickly? Was it already laying there, but deemed not right for the 1st effort? What is the style/genre? Same/different, a combination? Does the writing “hold up”. It’s been seemingly pretty quiet around Ms. Obreht, but, after 7/8 years, that is soon to change. Here comes “Inland” and it answers all the questions. “Inland” couldn’t be more different than “The Tiger’s Wife” and I couldn’t be more delighted. For starters, we’re not in an unnamed Balkan landscape chasing real and imaginary animals and spirits. We are in the hard-core 19th century U.S. Wild West where you never know where your next drop of water is coming, much less what the future has in store. There are the living and the non-living, of course, but most of the imaginary places and things turn out to be pretty real. There are lots of characters, and they all have a role to play. The story is complex, even at times, a challenge to follow. Is it a mystery? Is it real history? Could it be all that and more? Move on over a bit “The Tiger’s Wife”. “Inland” is going to take a place at Ms. Obreht’s head table.
gypsygrandmatv 5 days ago
First of all...thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book to read and review....but I had a difficult time with this book. I love most historical fiction but this wasn't what I was expecting.