Mr B's review
Mr B’s Christmas Catalogue Review 2018
Cy Bellman, inspired by the discovery of giant skeletal remains in the Kentucky mud, is determined to head out alone from 19th century Pennsylvania, and discover one of these creatures alive in the unexplored regions to the west. This stunning debut is written with a lightness of touch that lends itself to the tragedy and humour of Davies’ writing. While we laugh at Cy’s optimism, the young daughter he leaves behind is left to fend for herself. As the tension escalates, we’re left to wonder that perhaps the west is empty, and all the devils are here…
When Cy Bellman, American settler and widowed father of Bess, reads in the newspaper that huge ancient bones have been discovered in a Kentucky swamp, he leaves his small Pennsylvania farm and young daughter to find out if the rumours are true: that the giant monsters are still alive, and roam the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River.
West is the story of Bellman’s journey and of Bess, waiting at home for her father to return. Written with compassionate tenderness and magical thinking, it explores the courage of conviction, the transformative power of grief, the desire for knowledge and the pull of home, from an exceptionally talented and original British writer. It is a radiant and timeless epic-in-miniature, an eerie, electric monument to possibility.