In our next book review in July, Dan Mazzacane turns to Scott Alexander Hess’s novellas, The Root of Everything and Lightning, out today from Rebel Satori Press. “Hess’s world is wild and dangerous,” Mazzacane writes, “its nature characterized with the same simple elegance of his prose.” Read the full review below.
Scott Alexander Hess’s two novellas are hauntingly emotional, written with elegantly simple sentences that unfold layers of complication in emotion, theme, metaphor. Characters live, grow, and die alongside generational trauma, unkept promises, forbidden love, violence, and haunting, beautiful landscapes. But, beneath that, there is a persistence of hope. The Root of Everything follows three generations of a family as they build their lives in America across slowly converging timelines. Richard makes the journey from Germany with his brother; his son, Cal, is the first generation born on new soil; and his son, Stanford, finds himself in the wreckage of his parents’ marriage. Lightning follows Bud through forbidden love as he finds who he is truly meant to be, a man of the earth in the same way as his father.