Cover Image: Outer Sunset

Outer Sunset

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Member Reviews

Critics of literary fiction say they hate it because nothing happens. Lovers of literary fiction say they love it because nothing happens. I may be making that up, but the appeal of the genre for me has always been the character study at the centre, and this book is a good example.

The narrator is a father of two adult children, separated from his wife three years before, but still feeling it keenly. He spends much of his time sitting in a back room of the bungalow he still lives in, possibly drinking too much. His kids look in and try to keep an eye on him, but they have their own lives. When his daughter receives a (spoiler: the) dread diagnosis, he has to find himself again, and examine the ways in which he has fathered his children, and how he has responded to his many losses.

It’s a really thoughtful portrait of fatherhood, unusual for me as most of the books I read that are like this are about motherhood. I loved it for this, and for the protagonist, too. He’s far from perfect, or knowledgeable, or confident, or any of the things fake fathers in books tend to be. He’s emotional, and conflicted, and confused, and stumbling, a delicately-drawn human.

That’s my main recommendation of this book, the primary reason I think you should read it. There are some deeply sad moments, and things in fact get really bleak; but the novel does end on an achingly beautiful, hopeful note.

Thank you to University of Iowa Press and to NetGalley for the ARC.
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Very good stuff. This author writes well and creates an effective atmosphere and characters. I stayed engaged, and expect this one to stick with me for a while.

Thanks very much for the free ARC for review!!
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Outer Sunset
A Novel
by Mark Ernest Pothier
This writer, Mark Ernest Pothier is what books writers should be. It was every emotion you can feel. It was sunsets, foggy evenings, and rainy mornings, I was caught up in the beauty of an older Dad, and his daughter who is ill.
He comes awake with a need, a want to help her. I revisit some past and present of the family. I felt this beautiful novel will stay with me. A classic and what a film this would be.Thank you for showing me once again what it feels to read, wanting it to go on, but never wanting it to end. Brilliantly written novel.
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