From the bestselling author of The Piano Tuner , a stunning novel about a young girl’s journey through a vast, unnamed country in search of her brother.
Fourteen-year-old Isabel was born in a remote village with the gift and curse of “seeing farther.” When drought and war grip the backlands, her brother Isaias joins a great exodus to a teeming city in the south. Soon Isabel must follow, forsaking the only home she’s ever known, her sole consolation the thought of being with her brother again.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Religion eBook: A Far Country|
|Release Date: 03-06-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||A Far Country|
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A Far Country
In the valley of the village they would one day name Saint Michael in the Cane, the men and women waited, turning the November soil and watching the sky.
Clouds came, following the empty riverbeds on long solitary treks from the coast.
Sometimes it rained. Little green leaves unfurled from the dry branches, and a soft grass bloomed on the floor of the thorn scrub they called the white forest because it was too poor for color. The men and women watched the sky distrustfully then. Sometimes the rain fell so close they could smell it, but if it didn't fall again in that corner of earth, the leaves turned brown and rattled in the wind. That could kill a field, they said: a single rain and then empty skies. It raised your hopes, the land's hopes. They called it green drought and swore at it under their breath. Rain is like a man, said the women, It flatters you with sweet gifts, but it is worse than nothing if it doesn't stay.
When the rains didn't come again, the first plants to die were the grasses. Then the thorn brittled and the cactus grayed. In December, on the eve of Saint Lucy's Day, they set out six fragments of salt to divine for drought, and in the morning they counted how many had melted away and how many remained.
Finally, when the earth grew so hot that any rain would only steam back into the sky, they began to get ready. They called it the retreat, as if to settle the backlands was a foolish and unnatural thing in the first place. Most had seen drought before and knew too well the rituals of flight and uncertain return. In the dry fields, they clanged spades against the stone and combed the earth for fragments of manioc. They made calculations, che