Hot with violent urgency, and shrouded in the moss and fog of the rural Northwest, Vera Violet opens with the eponymous Vera on the run someplace deep in Montana, and does not let up until the final page. In between is something like the root system of a tall cedar, or the wiring Harness on an old pickup: tangled at first glance, but intricate as soon as you start to trace it. This is an unforgettable novel.
Whorton is one of those rare authors I read and lose the sensation of turning pages, slipping into his quirky worlds past the printed page. Here he creates a kind of redneck "Alice in Wonderland," each character more startling and vivid than the last. But what most surprises is how deeply Whorton causes you to care about--and cheer on--these fragmented but tenacious and hopeful personalities.