2017 releases · fiction

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

A very difficult book to review. 

Goodreads Page

Book Depository

This book caught my attention on NetGalley, before I heard anything about it. Then some good reviews started popping up and I decided to pick it up. I had a very special relationship with it.

This book definitely creeps up on you. For the first third of the book, I was completely unsure how I exactly felt about it. I never thought of putting it down or anything, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on my feelings on the book, I could not decide if I was enjoying it. It was an unnerving reading experience. But, boy oh boy, is this book gorgeous.

I loved the setting. It’s set in the mountains of Idaho, and I love books set to the quiet, yet dramatic and suspenseful backdrop of the mountain. The scenery was beautiful and it matched the story perfectly.

I can’t really tell you what this book is about. It’s about family that gets torn up by a traumatic event and we see the aftermath of it and the book follows many different perspectives at different points in time. All of the characters were so well written. They were flawed but they were so incredibly human. They were a result of every single thing that happened to them and I loved reading about them. Ruskovich wrote a book that is so human and so encapsulating and I really loved the way she handled her characters.

The writing is also beautiful. There’s a part where one of our main characters, Ann, is writing a song on the piano and that whole passage of music and the way life pours into someone’s music was so wonderful, it was the best description of music I ever read.

BUT. This book had a aspect to it that almost (almost!) ruined it for me. I really like open endings. I like when the author leaves things up in the air, and when the reader is sort of made part of the story, because we make up our own endings, and each person can make the ending what they want and need it to be. HOWEVER. This book is set upon a mystery. The mystery is its foundation. And it’s not resolved in any way. And in this instance, I really need it to be. A lot of things are left unresolved and unsaid and I found it kind of both disappointing and disturbing. I felt a really anxiousness about not knowing, and I did not like it. But in the end, the pros overruled the cons, and I appreciated the book for everything it was and for everything it wasn’t.

Would I recommend it? Definitely. If you have no problems with being in the dark. If you like things to wrap up at the end, I’d say skip this one. But if you can handle the unknown, I’d say definitely try this one out. Because it’s definitely worth your time.

Final verdict: 3.75 stars

Let me know if you have read this or if you plan on reading it, or anything you want to share!


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*I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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6 thoughts on “Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

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