Review – Idaho

IdahoIdaho by Emily Ruskovich

Published January 2, 2017

Random House




My rating: 3.5 Stars

When tragedy strikes on a mountain in Idaho in 1995, a family is forever changed.

I’m still having a hard time trying to figure out how I feel about this book. If I had to use only one word to describe how this book made me feel, I think the word would have to be confused.

But I could not stop reading.

The book begins in 2004. We meet Ann. Ann is married to Wade. She is his second wife. Wade’s first wife, Jenny is in prison…..for murder. Ann lives with Wade in the same house he lived with his ex-wife, Jenny and their two daughters, June and May.

Ann is sitting in an old truck that is almost never used. She feels like she’s trespassing. She doesn’t like Wade to know she comes up and sits in the truck and reflects on the worst day of her husband’s life. She imagines and wonders. She thinks about the life she would have led if things were different. But one thing she knows for sure…

“I am here because you are not here”

Ann is worried about the changes she has seen in Wade lately, especially in his behavior. Some of his actions are just peculiar and harmless but others are quite scary. For many years she wouldn’t let herself go searching for answers. She wouldn’t ask Wade any questions about it. But all of that has changed now, all is different….

Because now Wade is forgetting.

The story is told from many different perspectives over many years. The chapters are clearly labelled which definitely helps as this story really jumps around from past to present. The story goes all the way back to 1973 and forward all the way to 2025. With the many voices, places, and periods of time there is a lot going on. This tragedy reaches so many people over so many years. It’s a compelling read but also a bit confusing.

This is definitely not a quick read. We are given little bits of information as we get further into the book. Things that happened years before slowly come to light. I found that I had to pay close attention, which was hard as at times as my mind would wander.

Idaho was an extremely though-provoking read. There are many themes throughout this book. I feel sure that if you asked five people what they felt the story was bout you would probably get five different answers.

I think that Emily Ruskovich is a talented writer. But there was so much that I didn’t understand. Perhaps that’s how the author wanted it? In some ways I like how I’m left to speculate and fill in how I feel things happened. However, there’s another part of me that wants answers.

Although this may not have been my favorite read, I did enjoy many parts of it. I know that there are a lot of people who will love this book, many who already do and I understand that. I feel like Idaho will be fantastic for book clubs as there is so much to talk about.

Thank you NetGalley, Emily Ruskovich, and Random House Publishing Group for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews


17 thoughts on “Review – Idaho

  1. I think it’s not unreasonable for an author to leave a question unanswered if the reader can make up their own mind but to cause confusion seems a little unfair. A nicely balanced review though, Dee 🙂


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