The Clearing (2003) After witnessing the horrors of WWI, the once charming and confident Byron Aldridge returns from France a shell of his former self. Abandoning his Pittsburgh… 2003-06-17 Fiction Knopf
Review

The Clearing (2003)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Jun 17, 2003; Writer: Tim Gautreaux; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Knopf

After witnessing the horrors of WWI, the once charming and confident Byron Aldridge returns from France a shell of his former self. Abandoning his Pittsburgh family, he becomes the sole lawman in the backwoods mill town of Nimbus, La., doling out justice with the wrong end of a Colt automatic. His little brother arrives, hoping to lure Byron back North. What follows is a dense, masterfully written story of filial ties and a struggle for decency and redemption within a heart of darkness teeming with ''men poor in everything but revenge.'' Gautreaux's second novel skillfully captures a living, breathing South, where men's minds are as muddied as the landscape. Though occasionally overreaching, the tale is imbued with such delicacy and even beauty that it not only affects but astonishes.

Originally posted Jun 27, 2003 Published in issue #716-717 Jun 27, 2003 Order article reprints