ENDURANCE captures the atmosphere of a gritty Western with the painful beauty of a work of magic realism, in a fantasy setting of a world several universes away from our own. A universe where shapeshifters live a hidden existence, pushed into a vanishing frontier and where the dominant culture and religion considers them an abomination.
Into this world, a preacher’s wife gives birth to what appears to be a live wolf pup.
Each character in this story is finely drawn and not one is exactly what he or she appears to be. There is an urgency that drives each to make choices that culminate in events none will escape unchanged. My worry for the preacher, his wife, the town doctor, and the schoolteacher kept me up reading long past the time I should have gone to sleep.
The writing is spare and haunting. The setting is so well-drawn that it, too, becomes a character. There are no easy answers and the ending haunted me in the way that Pan’s Labyrinth haunted me. Weeks later, I am still thinking about it. A highly original, bittersweet, and moving story.
Disclaimer – I know both these writers casually through an extended writing group in the Boston area. I purchased the book because the description looked intriguing, and I’ve read and enjoyed short stories written by both of them. Anyone who knows me, knows I only recommend books love, regardless of any connection to the writer.
About The Reviewer
LJ Cohen is a novelist, poet, blogger, ceramics artist, & relentless optimist. After 25 years as a physical therapist, LJ now uses her anatomical knowledge and clinical skills to injure characters in her science fiction and fantasy novels. She lives outside of Boston. The 3rd book in her Halcyone Space SF series, Dreadnought And Shuttle, was published June of 2016. LJ is active in SFWA and Broad Universe.
Learn more about LJ and her work at www.ljcohen.net