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Published: Ecco Press - May 28th, 2013
he acclaimed author of American Rust, returns with The Son:
an epic, multigenerational saga of power, blood, and land that follows
the rise of one unforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of
the 1800s to the border raids of the early 1900s to the oil booms of the
"A gifted new writer-a writer who understands how place and personality
and circumstance can converge to create the perfect storm of
tragedy."-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son
is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in
the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious
family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim.
Spring, 1849. The first male child born in the newly established
Republic of Texas, Eli McCullough is thirteen years old when a marauding
band of Comanche storm his homestead and brutally murder his mother and
sister, taking him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to
Comanche life, learning their ways and language, answering to a new
name, carving a place as the chief's adopted son, and waging war against
their enemies, including white men-complicating his sense of loyalty
and understanding of who he is. But when disease, starvation, and
overwhelming numbers of armed Americans decimate the tribe, Eli finds
himself alone. Neither white nor Indian, civilized or fully wild, he
must carve a place for himself in a world in which he does not fully
belong-a journey of adventure, tragedy, hardship, grit, and luck that
reverberates in the lives of his progeny.
Intertwined with Eli's story are those of his son, Peter, a man who
bears the emotional cost of his father's drive for power, and JA, Eli's
great-granddaughter, a woman who must fight hardened rivals to succeed
in a man's world.
Phillipp Meyer deftly explores how Eli's ruthlessness and steely
pragmatism transform subsequent generations of McCulloughs. Love, honor,
children are sacrificed in the name of ambition, as the family becomes
one of the richest powers in Texas, a ranching-and-oil dynasty of
unsurpassed wealth and privilege. Yet, like all empires, the
McCoulloughs must eventually face the consequences of their choices.
Harrowing, panoramic, and vividly drawn, The Son is a masterful achievement from a sublime young talent.