The Son by Philipp Meyer

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This is a very ambitious books about a Texan family. The family patriarch, kidnapped by Comanche raiders as a boy, invested in land on which oil was later found, and eliminated (as in had murdered) Hispanic families who got in his way. His grandson and great-granddaughter then had to deal in their different ways with issues of money and power. We start off in a sparsely-populated world in which “Anglos”, Tejanos and Native Americans are all struggling for their own ways of life and finish in the sort of world which we associate with JR Ewing but seen from a female perspective.

It’s a fascinating book, but it’s written in a rather confusing way … the stories of the three main characters aren’t written chronologically, but with a chapter about one followed by a chapter on another. I’m not sure that that was the best way of telling the story, but the book was well worth reading all the same. Texas is a unique mix, with the overlap of Anglo and Hispanic culture, the “Wild West” element, the “Old South” element, the oil and money-grubbing element. I’m looking forward to seeing it for myself.

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