By Robert Vivian
From the back of the book:
“Lamb Bright Savoirs begins as an apocalyptically inclined itinerant preacher staggers across the Nebraska prairie. With his young assistant, Mady, in tow hauling a wagon stacked with bibles, it’s not long before the preacher finds he’s come to the final fulfillment of his self-proclaimed life’s work: to die in front of a group of strangers.”
This was a difficult book to read. As the preacher lay dying, each character who is in attendance tells pieces of their own stories, which are both interwoven and separate.
Throughout the pages, we hear from six different personalities, plus the preacher and the narrator. These tales of woe are often confusing and you wonder how they are related.
But the book reads almost like prose. It’s very lyrical and delves deep into the lives of these people. Those who don’t speak for themselves are heard from through the words of others.
The story begins with the preacher collapsing on a road not heavily traveled. He and his assistant are found by a group of hoodlums, who pick him up and take them to the home of a blind woman. They know the house well. Years ago, they had broken in, ransacking her home and raping her.
Since then, they each led lives that frequently led them to trouble, loneliness and sadness.
Now, they come together once again to watch the preacher on his death bed and the scene brings back a barrage of memories of the events that brought them to where they are today.
I have to commend Robert Vivian for his novel. It’s quite unique and I don’t remember reading anything quite like it in the past. Although not one of the best books I’ve read recently, it does have some unique qualities and I’d recommend it to some of the readers I know.