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Guide The Son Rises in Texas

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It ends in , when Jeanne Anne McCullough, Eli's great-granddaughter, one of the richest and most powerful women in Texas, is dying and trying to make sense of her life, marked and marred by her fierce independence. The third main character is Peter McCullough, Eli's enigmatic son, who's troubled by a moral conscience far more than his father or granddaughter. Meyer's narrative jumps around among their overlapping stories, each told in a distinctive voice.

‘The Son’ rises to its epic occasion

The novel deals with the family's oil and ranching dynasty, the bloody turf wars with Comanches and Mexicans, the Civil War in which Indians fight on both sides , and Texas' economic booms and busts. At times, it's not easy to keep all the characters straight. Nor is it a novel for the squeamish, given all the torture practiced by and upon the Indians, as well as all the sex, or "rutting," as Eli puts it. And it's not for readers who prefer their history sanitized and simple.


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Yet the story is propelled by vivid descriptions. Meyer devotes four pages to the uses the Comanches had for buffalo — everything but the heart which was left so "the Creator would see that his people were not greedy.

‘The Son’ rises to its epic occasion

Eli, who lives to be , is the most compelling character. After three years with the Comanches, during which he becomes a respected warrior, he returns to live with the whites. He comes to see that "the lives of the rich and famous were not so different from the lives of the Comanches: you did what you pleased and answered to no one.

For a while, the closest he can come to that is by joining the Texas Rangers, more vigilantes than law officers.

The Son Also Rises

Each powerful story line can stand alone, but juxtaposed, they are enthralling. How will one existence lead to the other? We go from the terror of younger Eli to the confident swagger of older Eli, entertaining guests with a sanitized version of the tale. Is he brave or horribly cynical? Is he a visionary or a swindler? Adapting The Son into a series has been a long commitment for Meyer, who sold his first bestseller, American Rust, outright to Universal.

The book behind that five-year development process was a new type of novel for Meyer.

Austin author on adapting his award-winning novel for AMC

He likes hunting and fishing. We get along really well. And it grows into more of a father-son relationship, where Toshaway sees the potential in the kid and starts to care for him as his own son.

In the story line, Madrid-born Carlos Bardem plays Pedro Garcia, the leader of an old and proud Tejano family, trying to keep a grip on his power as the more recently arrived whites, including Eli, try to squeeze him and his people out.