• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: Harper (January 7, 2014)
In the winter of 1897, Elspeth Howell treks across miles of snow and ice to the isolated farmstead in upstate New York where she and her husband have raised their five children. Her midwife’s salary is tucked into the toes of her boots, and her pack is full of gifts for her family. But as she crests the final hill, and sees her darkened house and a smokeless chimney, immediately she knows that an unthinkable crime has destroyed the life she so carefully built.
Her lone comfort is her twelve-year-old son, Caleb, who joins her in mourning the tragedy and planning its reprisal. Their long journey leads them to a rough-hewn lake town, defined by the violence both of its landscape and of its inhabitants. There Caleb is forced into a brutal adulthood, as he slowly discovers truths about his family he never suspected, and Elspeth must confront the terrible urges and unceasing temptations that have haunted her for years. Throughout it all, the love between mother and son serves as the only shield against a merciless world.
A scorching portrait of guilt and lost innocence, atonement and retribution, resilience and sacrifice, pregnant obsession and primal adolescence, The Kept is told with deep compassion and startling originality, and introduces James Scott as a major new literary voice.
James Scott was born in Boston and grew up in upstate New York. He holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MFA from Emerson College. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, American Short Fiction, and other publications. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and dog. The Kept is his first novel.
Find out more about James at his website.
James’ Tour Stops
Tuesday, January 7th: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, January 8th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, January 9th: Bibliophilia, Please
Monday, January 13th: Books in the Burbs
Thursday, January 16th: Broken Teepee
Monday, January 20th: Tina’s Book Reviews
Tuesday, January 21st: The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, January 22nd: Man of La Book
Thursday, January 23rd: Bibliophiliac
Tuesday, January 28th: she treads softly
Thursday, January 30th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, February 3rd: A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, February 4th: Giraffe Days
Wednesday, February 5th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Thursday, February 6th: Ageless Pages Reviews