Some books were written to be read on the beach. And then there are 500-page behemoths that take up 95 percent of your carry-on, making you immediately think, This book better be good.

Thankfully, Austin-based author Philipp Meyer?s sophomore effort, The Son, is worth its weight.

Epic in scope (think Larry McMurtry?s Lonesome Dove), this multigenerational tale tells the story of the McCullough family in the Republic of Texas. The story begins in 1849 when a band of Comanche Indian marauders invade 13-year-old Eli McCullough?s homestead, killing his family and taking him captive.

While this might seem well-trodden territory for many Westerns, Meyer takes the (dusty) road less traveled, weaving present-day action throughout the narrative to create a story of highly intriguing familial strife. It?s also a glimpse into a violent world we?ll never know as the family seeks to protect its land and fortune amid the Wild West boom.

And speaking of legacies, it seems Meyer himself already has one, because this elegiac effort soars, much like his debut, American Rust.

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