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Let Him Go

Let Him Go

A Novel

Book - 2020
Average Rating:
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"A tale of family love and its unexpected consequences from 'one of the finest writers working today'"--
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Milkweed Editions, [2020]
Edition: First paperback edition
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781571311405
1571311408
Branch Call Number: FIC WATSON 2020
Characteristics: 269 pages ; 21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

After losing her son in a horse-riding accident, Margaret Blackledge heads to Montana to rescue her grandson from a clan of menacing outlaw in-laws.

Margaret Blackledge sets out to persuade her former daughter-in-law Lorna and grandson Jimmy to return to North Dakota, or at least to rescue Jimmy from Lorna and her new husband, Donnie Weboy. Joining her on the road trip is her husband, a retired sheriff, who reluctantly accompanies Margaret to... Read More »


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m
MillieBT
May 16, 2021

Well told story about grandparents looking for their grandson

d
darladoodles
Mar 08, 2021

With spare prose and timeless conflicts, this literary thriller immerses the reader in the lives of George and Margaret Blackledge. Although I have not yet viewed the movie this book was based on, I must confess that the anticipation of seeing Kevin Costner and Diane Lane bring the book to life on the big screen enhanced my reading experience. The middle-aged couple is committed to their vows made decades prior. They venture forth together in a quest to find their grandson -- who left with his widowed mother and her new husband. In the wild, untamed areas of Montana in the early 1950's, the two face life and death decisions and realize the strength of their love for each other and for their only grandchild. Exploring the themes of family, commitment, sacrifice, grandparent's rights, and lethal force; this is a story we can all relate to.

Larry Watson's poetic and spare writing style economically reveals his characters; their thoughts, feelings and even details of their appearance and movements in what seemed like foreign landscapes. His decision to not use dialogue quotation marks is one way he exposes the way his characters think. I enjoyed how most chapters ended with imagery that caused me to pause and re-read the words and sometimes pause again. Subtle foreshadowing builds the suspense in this fictional story of love and danger. The key for me to accept the ending was understanding the selfless motivations and actions of the quiet hero, George Blackledge, who reminded me of "Walt" in the movie "Gran Torino". The movie based on this book stars the talented duo Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. When I watched "Let Him Go" movie clips I was disappointed to see how other characters were presented. Did the screenwriter even read Larry Watson's descriptions of his characters? I won't be seeing the movie; it would destroy the book for me.

p
PDBurt
Dec 08, 2020

This was a riveting read, told as a story about a man and wife from both their points of view. I almost felt sorry for the other family despite them being a rough lot. An ending both satisfying and very sad.

r
Reads_A_Lot
Nov 25, 2020

Wanted to read this before the Kevin Costner movie comes out. I think he’ll make an excellent George. But it’s his wife, Margaret, who will be played by Diane Lane who is the lead character. They are grandparents who set out to get their grandson back after their daughter-in-law marries a terrible man and lives with his awful family. Even though it’s written in sparse prose and without quotation marks this book has great characterization and is filled with nuance and tension that kept me turning the pages. It’s not a feel good story, but it was a quick, entertaining read.

n
nancyau12
Mar 24, 2019

Recommended by Pat

l
lrs1107
Nov 01, 2017

LET HIM GO is a Larry Watson novel through-and-through. Upper Great Plains locations - Hardworking humble taciturn protagonists - Family-centered conflict - Tragedy - Wry Midwest humor - Generational legacies and conflicts - Self-confident to the point of smugness in the protagonist's adversaries - Hard choices = Hard outcomes. If you've read and liked other Larry Watson works, you'll probably find that LET HIM GO fills that niche as well.

BCD2013 Jun 06, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
In 1951 North Dakota, years after losing her son in a horse riding accident, Margaret Blackledge seeks to retrieve her grandson from the daughter-in-law who ran off with another man but finds her efforts challenged by her reluctant husband and the boy's step-family.

BCD2013 Jun 06, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
In 1951 North Dakota, years after losing her son in a horse riding accident, Margaret Blackledge seeks to retrieve her grandson from the daughter-in-law who ran off with another man but finds her efforts challenged by her reluctant husband and the boy's step-family.

ChristchurchLib Oct 21, 2013

"Years after losing their son in a horseback riding accident, George and Margaret Blackledge have still not come to terms with his death. Their daughter-in-law has remarried and cut off all contact with the Blackledges, taking their grandson to Montana. Though Margaret wants to rescue the boy, her efforts are challenged by her reluctant husband and the boy's troublemaking stepfamily. Set in 1951 North Dakota, Let Him Go is a character-driven, heart-wrenching tale of a woman whose decision to save her family brings violence into their lives." Fiction A to Z October 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=691547

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