Hebert's debut novel centers around 50-year-old Howard Elman, a mill foreman in Darby, New Hampshire, who, raised a foster child, is now bricked into illiteracy and a rage he cannot articulate. Wife Elenore is a "TV Catholic," faithful to whatever televised masses come over Channel 22 (Kirkus Reviews).
"His life had come to this: save a few deer from the jaws of dogs. He was a small man sent to perform a small task."
Howard Elman is a man whose internal landscape is as disordered as his front yard, where native New Hampshire birches mingle with a bullet-riddled washer, abandoned bathroom fixtures, and several junk cars. Howard, anti-hero of this first novel in Ernest Hebert's highly acclaimed Darby series, is a mixture too.
Howard's battle against encroaching change symbolizes the class conflict between indigenous Granite Staters scratching out a living and citified immigrants with "college degrees and big bank accounts." Like the winter-weakened deer threatened by the dogs of March -- the normally docile house pets whose instincts arouse them to chase and kill for sport -- Howard, too, is sorely beset.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:57 -0400)