Scott is a master of mood. (New York Times Book Review). How far would you go for your family, for love, for revenge? In the winter of 1897, a trio of killers descends upon an isolated farm in upstate New York. Elspeth Howell returns home to find her family brutally murdered. The only survivor is her twelve-year-old son who witnessed it all. Wounded, frightened and with retribution in their hearts, mother and son set out into the frozen wilderness to track down the red-scarfed men who killed their loved ones in cold blood. Their journey leads them to a rough-hewn settlement on the edge of ice-filled Lake Erie, a merciless place where violence abounds. Here, forced into a brutal adulthood, Caleb begins to discover truths about his mother he could never have anticipated and Elspeth must finally confront the terrible urges that envelop her. All the while, the memory of Caleb's brothers and sisters presses him onwards. Big skies, deep sw, open wounds: The Kept delves deep into what it means to be a mother - and to be a son. It asks us how far we would go for our family, for love and, ultimately, for revenge?
James Scott has published short fiction in American literary reviews and journals, including Ploughshares, One Story, American Short Fiction and Post Road, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices. He writes for the music magazine Under the Radar, is an issue editor at One Story, and teaches at Grub Street in Boston. The Kept is his first novel and has been longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. He lives in western Massachusetts, America.