I decided to read Idaho because I had heard it was about a woman married to a man whose first marriage had ended in a mysterious tragedy, and that sounded interesting. I did not realize that I would be reading a story about dementia and memory loss. I did not expect it to hit quite as close to home as it did. I still have a lot of processing to do.
I’m not sure I would have read Idaho if I’d known more about it, but it ended up being a very powerful read for me, so I guess I wouldn’t change anything. It’s one of those books where every little reveal feels very big, very significant--so I’m not going to do much summarizing here. The less you know going in, the richer your reading experience will be.
I will say that I have something of a family history of Alzheimer’s and dementia, though not the early-onset variety that features in this book. And it made me think a lot of things and feel a lot of feelings to watch Wade lose touch with his life and his memories, especially because he knew it was something that was likely to happen to him.
Of course, dementia is only one thing that’s going on in this book. There’s also a terrible, unfathomable crime, an unusual romance, and a lingering mystery that seems destined to remain so. Ruskovich’s writing is beautiful, meditative, evocative of the rugged landscape of the titular state. Idaho is a lovely book, even in its starkness. The only thing it left me wanting was a little more closure, a few more answers to the questions it raised.
With regards to Random House and NetGalley for the advance copy. On sale today, January 3!