by Renee (Seward): Paulette Jiles’s new book Chenneville is as well-written and absorbing as her previous novels. Jiles takes the reader to post-Civil War Missouri where John Chenneville has returned to his family farm still damaged from an almost lethal head injury. He finds the farm empty of all but one old retainer who tells him his mother has gone and his sister and her family have been brutally murdered.

From this point on, what could have been a typical tale of Western vengeance becomes a much more complex journey for justice and healing thanks to Jiles’s compelling and richly detailed writing. John’s hunt for the killer of his sister’s family takes him far from home and introduces many characters; some kind, some slippery, and some intent on harming him. All have been touched by the War and its aftereffects.

Chenneville is without a doubt the best book I have read this year. From the first page I was pulled into John’s story and the vivid portrayal of the post-Civil War West. I would recommend this title to anyone who appreciates Western tales with well-developed characters and rich, descriptive writing. I will be recommending it to friends and library patrons upon its publication.

Many thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for the chance to read this exceptional book.