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Book Review

‘Spill simmer falter wither’


“Spill Simmer Falter Wither,” the debut novel by Sara Baume, is the story of a man and his dog. The narrator of the story is the town’s recluse, living in his childhood home, haunted by the memories of his father. One day on his usual Tuesday trip to town, he gets a dog. The dog has one eye, so he names him “Oneeye.” The story is told as though the narrator is talking to Oneeye and is divided into seasons that align with the title.

By Sara Baume Houghton Mifflin Pp. 288 March 8, 2016

By Sara Baume
Houghton Mifflin
Pp. 288
March 8, 2016

The narrator immediately loves having someone else in his life. What follows are the various adventures of the narrator and Oneeye. The reader quickly learns that Oneeye is as rough around the edges as his owner. In other words, they make the perfect pair. It should come as no surprise that Oneeye has a mean streak, and about halfway through the book, he bites another dog. Worried that someone is going to take Oneeye from him, the narrator leaves.  Most of Falter and Wither are spent with the narrator and Oneeye on the road. Eventually the narrator knows that he must return home, and does. By the end of the novel, the reader learns more about the past of the narrator, which is hard to go into without giving too much away.

I highly recommend this novel, and I am excited to see what is in store for Sara Baume. CV

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