The Kept by James Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I did an audio version of this book and it was superbly narrated by Kate Udall. Flawless performance.
A random selection from the audio cd section of the library, I had no idea what I was in for.
This is a very dark story of a barren woman - a midwife - who began taking babies to raise as her own. It is set in the late 19th century, during a brutally harsh winter in upstate New York. Years of wrongdoing are halted and life unravels on a single day of unspeakable violence.....and her unholy deeds catch up. They seep into every corner of every hour and she is condemned to outrun her fate while trying to connect with her 12 year old, Caleb. The two of them, while bent on revenging the deaths of their loved ones, also tear at the world, trying to wrest peace and understanding from its hollowed soul.
The extremes of sadness, regret, malevolence and sacrifice are hard to take. The author does a fine job of folding his reader up in these extremes. I felt like I was chained to all of their iniquities and could not be free until I had finished the book.
The ending was ambiguous and since I like my redemption crystal clear, I promptly made up my own ending. You will probably do the same.
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