Review: August by Callan Wink



A boy coming of age in a part of the country that’s being left behind is at the heart of this dazzling novel–the first by an award-winning author of short stories that evoke the American West.

Callan Wink has been compared to masters like Jim Harrison and Thomas McGuane. His short stories have been published in The New Yorker and have won numerous accolades. Now, his enormous talents are showcased in a debut novel that follows a boy in the middle of the country through those difficult years between childhood and adulthood.

August is an average twelve-year-old. He likes dogs and fishing and doesn’t mind early-morning chores on his family’s Michigan dairy farm. But following a messy divorce, his mother decides that she and August need to start over in a new town. There, he tries to be an average teen–football and homework–but when his role in a shocking act of violence throws him off-course once more, he flees to a ranch in rural Montana, where he learns that even the smallest of communities have dark secrets.

Covering August’s adolescence, from age twelve to nineteen, this gorgeously written novel bears witness to the joys and traumas that irrevocably shape us all. Filled with unforgettable characters and stunning natural landscapes, this book is a moving and provocative look at growing up in the American heartland.

Rating: 4-stars


August by Callan Wink is wild ride. It’s a coming of age story for a boy named August. August has a lot he’s going through in life. His parents divorced. His father is left behind with his new woman. August it seems acts out a lot from the tension and anger he feels from his parents. Then again, his parents actions were crazy at times. Despite the violence and difficulties for August to fit in, he still treads forward thinking of his future. Typical teenage behavior can be found here, as well as a more he has to learn on his own. In a way, August is like a wild wolf pup abandoned by his parents to survive. Hurt, betrayal, and a lot of lessons later, August finds himself. It’s sort of like a Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer novel.

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