The Lost Country
The "lost country" of the title is the familiar country of innocence and security known as youth---a country we have all known and which, occasionally, in a book like this one, we are able to rediscover.
The Lost Country is the story of a boy, Jim Blackstarr, who grows up on a farm in Virginia. As a child, he delights in the beauty that surrounds him: the rivers and hills and trees, the seasons of the year, all the shapes and textures and patterns of his world.
But as he grows older, he makes other discoveries. He experiences brutality, passion, fear, shame. These experiences destroy the simplicity of his early relationships; they complicate and darken his later ones. Ultimately, the drive him---as they drive all men---out of, and away from, the country of his youth.
A fine debut
The debut from Salamanca, who wrote the exquisite Lilith. Here he is still honing his craft, and the book feels a bit bloated. Still he creates a world that I wanted to stay in for a whil, so I took my time reading. Ultimately, it is unfulfilling, but fun to read for Salamanca's knack for description. He'll get on fire for a couple or more pages at a time and it is beautiful to read. Still, unless you're already a devoted fan, I'd recommend skipping to Lilith. There are too many great books out there to read merely a very good one.
Drinking game: Take a drink every time the author uses the adjective "cool." You won't last long!