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Publish Date: September 2013
Let Him Go
BY Larry Watson
Dalton, North Dakota. September, 1951. It has been years since George and Margaret Blackledge lost their son James when he was thrown from a horse, and months since his widow left with their only grandson and married another man. Margaret is resolved to find and retrieve her beloved grandson Jimmy—the last of the family line, and a living embodiment of her son’s memory—while George, a retired sheriff, is none too eager to stir up trouble. Unable to sway his wife from her mission, George takes to the road with Margaret by his side, traveling through the Badlands to Gladstone, Montana. But when Margaret tries to bring little Jimmy home to North Dakota, the Blackledges find themselves entangled with the Weboy clan, who are determined not to give up the boy without a fight.
From the author who brought us Montana 1948, Let Him Go is pitch-perfect—gutsy and unwavering. Larry Watson is at his storytelling finest in this unforgettable return to the American West.
OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR:
“Slyly suspenseful, highly engaging.... Known for crisp images, resonant backdrops, and sharp characterizations drawn without flashy over-accessorizing, Watson's latest traces the desperate lengths families will go to in order to protect their own.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Superb storytelling from a writer who continues to find a special kind of melancholy poetry in the unforgiving landscape of the mountain states."—Booklist (starred review)
"The sort of book that puts the shine back on genre as an adjective to describe fiction."—Kirkus
"If there were ever any question about Larry Watson's reputation as one of the finest writers working today, there shouldn't be anymore. Not after Let Him Go, Watson's ninth book of fiction, and his best.—Star Tribune
"With publication of his ninth, Let Him Go, Watson is at the top of his writing skills in a fast-paced story of marital love, family violence and small-town justice."—Pioneer Press
"From the author of the fiercely lyrical, fiercely ethical Montana 1948. In early 1950s North Dakota, George and Margaret Blackledge are desperate to see their grandson.... A book I’m especially anticipating."—Library Journal Prepub Alert
"This fierce, tense book is beautifully written, with spare and economical prose out of which blooms a vivid and uncompromising portrait of the modern West. A brilliant achievement."—Alice LaPlante, bestselling author of Turn of Mind
"Let Him Go is as commanding as its title: you will be immediately gripped by the narrow-eyed, big-hearted pursuit of a child in danger. This is a literary thriller of the highest order—on par with Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone—an unrelenting quest through an unforgiving landscape and deadly family web."—Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon and The Wilding
“Larry Watson is, quite simply, an American classic. He uses language as stark and spare as the landscape he describes and direct and powerful as the people in two families caught up in a conflict that is bound for tragedy. If there is one voice for the northern plains, it is his.”—Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
"I loved Let Him Go, so real, and heartbreaking, and tragic. It never let me go as I took a trip with George and Margaret Blackledge. Larry Watson is a master at setting up the gut-wrenching atmosphere and these hard-scrabble characters. My heart went out to them in their desperate situation and their dead end choices. Brilliant!”—Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
"Let Him Go is brilliant, devastating. I will be reading more Larry Watson."—J Ganz, Books-A-Million, Dickson City, PA
"Let Him Go is a love story and a testament to the abiding bonds that can join two people together."
"The plot is fraught with tension…but as much as one wants to keep turning the pages to see what happens, it's worth slowing down to savor Watson's use of language and the development of his characters."—Wisconsin State Journal
"Like far-off black clouds with the faint sound of thunder on the horizon, Let Him Go crescendos into a violent Northern Plains thunderstorm."—Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, Iowa
"As for Let Him Go, once again I'm having a literary peak experience...I can't remember the last time I read a book that was not only this powerful but this deeply satisfying in every way."—Chris Faatz, Powell's Books
"As a reader, you know instinctively that — even as Watson takes his time revealing essential information about the plot and setting — there’s no need to rush him. You know he’ll eventually get around to explaining everything you need to know about his characters. And you know, when the facts are laid plain, it will have been worth the wait."—Iowa Press-Citizen
"Let Him Go is at its heart a character study, not only of George and Margaret but also its other characters, all of whom are brought to life in prose that is both restrained and exquisite."—Chicago Tribune
"I can't remember the last time I rooted for two characters as much as I did the Blackledges. Wait, I do — it was the father and son in Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Watson's book is more realistic and relatable, and perhaps even more powerful. It's superbly done."—James Crossley, Mercer Island Books