Here we go again, back to the North, back to the land of predator and prey, the land of survival.
Tom Stewart once again gives us a vivid, poetic glimpse into a land that few of us will ever have the chance to experience fully. The introduction instantly sets you into the wild interactions of nature with bold flashes of colour and violence as a foreshadowing of things to come. In chapter one, we are thrown right back into the action of the final scene of the previous novel with a rope, an arrow, and the spray of blood from an unanticipated attack. The following chapters alternate between town and woods but also past and present.
Immortal North Two primarily focuses on the trapper’s struggle to overcome overwhelming grief and guilt but we also get to know more about the town and what happens when they hear tales of murder and crime in the remote woods. Other chapters give more background into the trapper’s family and how the lodge once owned by his grandfather was lost.
This novel will gut you, turn you inside out, then slowly rebuild you. In the beginning, the writing is very dark and angry in shades of grey with splashes of red. While reading, you sense that a dark cloud hangs over you, and sadness creeps into your veins. The trapper’s pain becomes your pain. You are constantly left wondering what he will decide to do and what will become of the two men who turned his world upside down. As time passes, the trapper takes his “medicine” allowing nature and routine to work their magic in his healing. Ice baths, sauna sweats, and even a hallucinogenic trip all aid him in his attempt to find his true self once more.
Even though this novel did not bring me to tears as much as the previous novel, it was still beautiful and perhaps a little more painful in some ways. I read another review that stated Tom Stewart’s writing was to be read slowly so that you could absorb every last bit of it. This is the truth. If you are looking for a quick, easy read, this is not the novel for you. This novel is a journey, an experience that will stay with you for a very long time.
Through amazing imagery and lyrical prose brimming with wisdom, Tom Stewart has created another beautiful piece of writing where you can read the words and see the scene come together in your mind’s eye. You live and breathe this story. You feel the heat and the cold. You suffer and triumph with the trapper. This novel will haunt you. This novel will become a part of you.
About the Author
Tom Stewart is the winner of the 2023 Whistler Independent Book Awards in fiction and finalist in the 2022 Somerset International Book Awards in literary fiction. Tom grew up near Winnipeg, Canada where he studied literature and philosophy at University of Manitoba. He worked in northern Canada as a fishing and hunting guide and bush-plane pilot. Tom now lives in Tofino on Vancouver Island.
- Publisher : Lucky Dollar Media (Feb. 20 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 414 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1777221153
- ISBN-13 : 978-1777221157
Laura Patterson is a Registered Acupuncturist and a QA Lab Technician from rural New Brunswick where she lives with her husband and twin boys. She has a BSc in Biology and a Diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. When she's not working in the lab or in her clinic, she enjoys camping and adventuring with her family, reading many books, and writing book reviews.