The celebrated author of Montana 1948 (over 400,000 copies sold) returns to the American West in this riveting tale of familial love and its unexpected consequences.
“A consummate chronicler of the American West, Watson (American Boy) sets his slyly suspenseful, highly engaging new novel in the early 1950s in rural Dalton, North Dakota… Known for crisp images, resonant backdrops, and sharp characterizations drawn without flashy over-accessorizing, Watson’s latest traces the desperate lengths families will go to in order to protect their own.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“A rare and scintillating and utterly mesmerizing novel.” — Chris Faatz, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
“I loved Let Him Go, so real, and heartbreaking, and tragic. It never let me go as I took a trip with George and Margaret Blackledge. Larry Watson is a master at setting up the gut-wrenching atmosphere and these hard-scrabble characters. My heart went out to them in their desperate situation and their dead end choices. Brilliant!” — Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
“Stunning! Riveting! Like far-off black clouds with the faint sound of thunder on the horizon, Let Him Go crescendos into a violent northern Plains thunderstorm as grandparents George and Margaret Blackledge set out on a journey to “rescue” their grandson from his new stepfather. Confronting the hardscrabble Weboy clan, who are equally determined to keep Jimmy, can only have violent, tragic consequences. Larry Watson has written a novel that will rival Montana 1948 in character development, storyline, and excitement. Let Him Go will not be soon forgotten!”
Dalton, North Dakota. It’s September 1951: years since George and Margaret Blackledge lost their son James when he was thrown from a horse; months since his widow Lorna took off with their only grandson and married Donnie Weboy. Margaret is steadfast, resolved to find and retrieve her grandson Jimmy – the one person in this world keeping James’s memory alive – while George, a retired sheriff, is none too eager to stir up trouble. Unable to sway his wife from her mission, George takes to the road with Margaret by his side, traveling through the Dakota badlands to Gladstone, Montana. When Margaret tries to convince Lorna to return home to North Dakota and bring little Jimmy with her, the Blackledges find themselves entangled with the entire Weboy clan, who are determined not to give up the boy without a fight. From the author who brought us Montana 1948, Let Him Go is pitch-perfect, gutsy, and unwavering. Larry Watson is at his storytelling finest in this unforgettable return to the American West.
Larry Watson is the author of Montana 1948, American Boy, Justice, White Crosses, and several other novels. He is the recipient of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, the Friends of American Writers award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and many other prizes and awards. He teaches writing and literature at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he lives with this wife, Susan.