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The Kept

A Novel
Scott, James (Book - 2014 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Kept


Item Details

After her husband and four of her children are brutally murdered in the winter of 1897, midwife Elspeth Howell, along with her surviving son, twelve-year-old Caleb, takes on the frozen wilderness to find the men responsible for shattering their family.
Authors: Scott, James, 1977 February 3-
Title: The kept
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Harper,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
Characteristics: 357 pages ;,24 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: After her husband and four of her children are brutally murdered in the winter of 1897, midwife Elspeth Howell, along with her surviving son, twelve-year-old Caleb, takes on the frozen wilderness to find the men responsible for shattering their family.
Alternate Title: Kept
ISBN: 9780062236654
0062236652
9780062236654
0062236733
9780062236739
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Report This Mar 16, 2014
  • moviefan01 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Well. This was certainly a...different sort of historical novel. I found the style lyrical and the tone haunting, and it served as a good action-mystery sort of book. The question you might ask is, how far would you go to have a child or a family? The novel's character Elspeth Howell works as a midwife but seems to obsessively steal the children she delivers. One section of the novel has Elspeth dressing as a man to work at an ice plant, in a very Norah Vincent Self-Made Man fashion, but The Kept is a beautifully written novel that explores the relationships between broken, damaged people.

Report This Feb 20, 2014
  • beebee40 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

Eerie,Gothic,disturbing. Difficult to follow the story; too many characters in this book. Somehow the narrative is not clean, organized. The idea is here but this young author would be well-served to develop a better framework. I became annoyed with his abrupt jump from one element to another. Finally, stop the overabundant use of adjectives and write cleanly. A story is here, a good book. But Scott missed the mark.

Report This Dec 29, 2013
  • Michael Colford rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

James Scott has crafted a harsh tale of life in upstate New York in the late 1800's. Elspeth works as a midwife, often on the road helping women give birth across the State of New York. At home, her husband Jorah, tends to their six children until the day Elspeth returns home after weeks away to find her family recently gunned down and left for dead. All that is save for her 12-year-old son Caleb, hidden from the massacre, yet traumatized by the violent events, Caleb and his mother must face harsh weather, serious wounds, damaging secrets and an unforgiving world as they seek revenge on the men who destroyed their lives. Scott weaves an intricate tale that touches on so many issues, while keeping the story of a mother and her son at the core. The bleak landscape both without and within make for somber reading, but it's well worth the effort to walk some miles in these tragic characters' shoes.

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