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The Kept

A Novel
Scott, James (Book - 2014 )
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
The Kept
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Item Details

After her husband and four of her children are brutally murdered in the winter of 1897, midwife Elspeth Howell, along with her surviving son, twelve-year-old Caleb, takes on the frozen wilderness to find the men responsible for shattering their family.
Authors: Scott, James, 1977 February 3-
Title: The kept
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Harper,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
Characteristics: 357 pages ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: James Scott
Summary: After her husband and four of her children are brutally murdered in the winter of 1897, midwife Elspeth Howell, along with her surviving son, twelve-year-old Caleb, takes on the frozen wilderness to find the men responsible for shattering their family.
ISBN: 9780062236739
0062236733
9780062236654
0062236652
9780062236654
Branch Call Number: FICTION SCOTT 2014
Subject Headings: Revenge Fiction Midwives Fiction New York (State) History 1865- Fiction Murder Fiction
Genre/Form: Domestic fiction
Topical Term: Revenge
Midwives
Murder
LCCN: 2013027875
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Library Staff

A haunting novel about a mother and son tormented by guilt, who do all the wrong things to find redemption. Reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and Michael Ondaatje.

After her husband and four of her children are brutally murdered in the winter of 1897, midwife Elspeth Howell, along with her surviving son, twelve-year-old Caleb, takes on the frozen wilderness to find the men responsible for shattering their family. A book to be read on a cold winter's night b... Read More »

2014: Okay, the year is pretty new, but this haunting novel about a mother and son tormented by guilt, who do all the wrong things to find redemption is my favorite so far. Reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and Michael Ondaatje.

After her husband and four of her children are brutally murdered in the winter of 1897, midwife Elspeth Howell, along with her surviving son, twelve-year-old Caleb, takes on the frozen wilderness to find the men responsible for shattering their family.

A scorching portrait of guilt and lost innocence, atonement and retribution, resilience and sacrifice, pregnant obsession and primal adolescence.


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Jul 06, 2014
  • Yoo_hoo5 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This was really a strange novel. It was suspenseful, in that I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened. But it was also very depressing and maybe a little far-fetched. For example, Elspeth seems to be able to live through gun shot wounds, fights, working hard, manual labor and traveling by foot farther than humanly possible, and yet she dies a simple death in the end.
I'm not really sure how I felt about it -- good or bad, so I'm giving it 3 stars.

Jun 14, 2014
  • ValleyViewLibrarians rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Atmospheric and filled with vivid imagery, Scott's debut novel tells a compelling tale of deception, loyalty, family, and revenge. <emorable, well-drawn characters and a harsh winter landscape dominate the tone of the book and readers will find themselves immersed in this bleak but gorgeously written novel. Although set in the Northeast, Scott's writing will appeal to fans of literary Westerns, especially Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy and Philip Meyer's "The Son."

May 17, 2014
  • JCLJaredH rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

James Scott created a dark yet lyrical story of a mother and son trying to find themselves after the massacre of their family. There are so many things wrapped into this story: secrets, revenge, mystery, survival, coming of age, redemption, etc. In many ways it is a late nineteenth century version of The Road. A good read for fans of Cold Mountain.

Apr 27, 2014
  • finn75 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Well written bleak story of a midwife whose past come backs to haunt her and destroy her family. Along with her son she seeks revenge her families destruction but along the way we find she is no innocent.

Mar 16, 2014
  • moviefan01 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Well. This was certainly a...different sort of historical novel. I found the style lyrical and the tone haunting, and it served as a good action-mystery sort of book. The question you might ask is, how far would you go to have a child or a family? The novel's character Elspeth
Howell works as a midwife but seems to obsessively steal the children she delivers. One section of the novel has Elspeth dressing as a man to work at an ice plant, in a very Norah Vincent Self-Made Man fashion, but The Kept is a beautifully written novel that explores the relationships between broken, damaged people.

Feb 20, 2014
  • beebee40 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

Eerie,Gothic,disturbing. Difficult to follow the story; too many characters in this book. Somehow the narrative is not clean, organized. The idea is here but this young author would be well-served to develop a better framework. I became annoyed with his abrupt jump from one element to another. Finally, stop the overabundant use of adjectives and write cleanly. A story is here, a good book. But Scott missed the mark.

Dec 29, 2013
  • Michael Colford rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

James Scott has crafted a harsh tale of life in upstate New York in the late 1800's. Elspeth works as a midwife, often on the road helping women give birth across the State of New York. At home, her husband Jorah, tends to their six children until the day Elspeth returns home after weeks away to find her family recently gunned down and left for dead. All that is save for her 12-year-old son Caleb, hidden from the massacre, yet traumatized by the violent events, Caleb and his mother must face harsh weather, serious wounds, damaging secrets and an unforgiving world as they seek revenge on the men who destroyed their lives. Scott weaves an intricate tale that touches on so many issues, while keeping the story of a mother and her son at the core. The bleak landscape both without and within make for somber reading, but it's well worth the effort to walk some miles in these tragic characters' shoes.

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Jul 08, 2014
  • Yoo_hoo5 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"Suspense"

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