One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time. But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.In a story told from multiple perspectives and in razor-sharp prose, we learn more about this act, and the way its violence, love and memory reverberate through the life of every character in Idaho.
"Idaho is a world of vivid particularity, a collection of evanescent traces and tracks, stains and remnants" * Guardian * "It's a set-up that reads straight out of the darkest of psychological thrillers ... That an act of such brutality inspires storytelling as beautiful as this is reason enough for this debut novel to stand out from the crowd" * Independent * "Writing that has the cool sharpness of lemonade... Unflinching, unfrilly, multi-layered storytelling that is both beautiful and devastating" -- Rachel Joyce "You're in masterly hands here... will remind many of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping... wrenching and beautiful" * New York Times Book Review * "At first glance this novel looks like a typical example of the 'post-catastrophe' genre... In fact, Idaho is deeper and broader -- and far more interesting... Ruskovich is not afraid of tackling the messy ambiguity of 'real' life, nor the difficulty of truly knowing another person, and she delivers her revelations with assurance and skill" -- Kate Saunders * The Times *
Emily Ruskovich grew up in the Idaho Panhandle, on Hoodoo mountain. Her fiction has appeared in Zoetrope, One Story and the Virginia Quarterly Review. A winner of a 2015 O. Henry Award and a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, she now teaches creative writing at the University of Colorado, Denver. Idaho is her first novel.