His first novel, The Fruit of Stone, had me wax lyrical with praise. and I wanted to know if Fruit had been a fluke, or if this new voice in fiction was the real thing.
With An Unfinished Life, Spragg’s style is still poetic but more relaxed, full of humour and mischief, while it addresses hard questions: what makes a family and what destroys it, what is love, and what gives us roots.
Jean, who’s finally tired of being used as a punching bag, leaves her boyfriend and arrives on her father-in-law’s doorstep with her ten-year-old daughter Griff. But Einer doesn’t want her there; he holds her responsible for the death of his son. Despite his reluctance, Griff burrows into his affections and those of Mitch, a crippled war buddy of Einer’s.
The setting, ranchland in Wyoming, only serves to underline and support the story.
Spragg succeeds, through multiple viewpoints, in showing to us the yearning his characters have for a safe haven, and, at the same time, that we all need a place we can call our own.