Oh but did I enjoy this modern take on the old, well-known story of Jacob and Esau! Having read this author before, I came to expect smooth, well-paced writing that would make the reading experience into wonderfully light and enriching affair. But while, indeed, getting to enjoy all this and more, what made this novella so special for me was a magical blend of old and new. At first I wasn't sure where the story takes place, in what time, what millennia - "...a real meal, I mean, made with a fresh kill over a roaring fire, under the open sky..." and in the same sentence "...not one that is made with stored, half cooked parts of meat and reheated, somehow, in a stuffy restaurant kitchen...". By this time, only a few paragraphs into the story I was deeply engrossed, enjoying myself immensely. I love the old, well-known stories presented with the modern-day twists and attitudes, but this one was the best I read. Added to this, the conversational tone of the storytelling must be the one who won me over for good. "...Don't let them fool you. Anyone can barbecue a steak-but really, cooking a stew is another matter altogether..." - how can one not to root for such chatty, readily sharing character, even if he goes on admitting crimes of an outright deceit. Yankle is a complex character, an interesting person to follow the trail of his inner thoughts. He might have been a deceptive son to his father, but as a father himself he recognizes the wrong that has been done to him, and maybe even to his brother, and he is determined not to fall into the same pit.
It was highly enjoyable read, thought-provoking, fascinating to the point that I finished reading it in one sitting. Presented with the right amount of dry humor, it brings the past to life while showing us that the people have never changed, their drives, insecurities, passions. I highly recommend this novel.