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  • Quercus

So Brave, Young and Handsome

Leif Enger

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

An ageing train robber's quest to reconcile the claims of love and judgment on his life.

In Minnesota in 1915, the ageing, murderous outlaw, Glendon Hale, meets the one-time successful author, Monte Becket. Glendon has spent years in obscurity, but the guilt he harbours for abandoning his wife, over two decades ago, has finally lured him from hiding. As the modern age marches swiftly forward, he aims to travel back to his past and gain her forgiveness. Sensing Monte's lack of purpose, he takes him along for the adventure. The two set out for California, journeying from the old West into the new, encountering cowboys and every character from Glendon's history they pass on the road to his wife's door. All the while, as they travel by railroad, motorcar and on horseback, they are pursued by the relentless Charles Siringo, an ex-Pinkerton who's been hunting Glendon for most of his career and is determined to find his man before he succumbs to the illness that plagues him. When the men finally reach their destination, they find more than they imagined and it will still be some time before they find the peace they seek.

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