A Reliable Wife

Lamentably, I’ve fallen a bit behind here (it was bound to happen — again — eventually). Fortunately, I had a mostly-complete draft waiting to help me get back on track quickly. Let’s pretend this entry appeared in late August, 2010 rather than January or 2011, shall we?

Having just returned [ed. note: ‘Just’. Ha!] from my annual escape to most-relaxing Muskoka . . . → Read More: A Reliable Wife

The Last Crossing

This book is almost deceptively well-crafted. I first pegged The Last Crossing as a standard western/family epic: a simple adventure/love story, with a touch of mystery, wrapped in an admittedly interesting history lesson, and featuring an entertaining if perhaps occasionally cliché canvas of characters. But what Vanderhaeghe delivers is also an incredibly well-paced, thought-provoking pastiche comprised of beautifully interwoven stories. The nuances of both character and plot development are revealed in a patient, organic rhythm that was somewhat lost on me given my sporadic reading of the text. . . . → Read More: The Last Crossing

The Girl Who Played Go

I might feel bad about judging so many books by their covers, except that it always seems to work out so damn well. My most recent foray into buying books I’ve never heard a thing about solely on the merits of cover design, The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa, is another such case. . . . → Read More: The Girl Who Played Go

Atonement

One of the most remarkable qualities of Atonement, the decision that the elevates it from the ranks of other moving stories and puts it in the realm of something quite spectacular, is the way that McEwan employs an unusual narrative structure — a narrative structure that becomes a vital component of the narrative itself. . . . → Read More: Atonement

Leeway Cottage

Beth Gutcheon’s Leeway Cottage is a book which is enhanced by the use of a unique narrative structure. It is comprised of a layering and entwining of two fairly disparate stories. One of these stories is among the greatest (and yet, not widely known) triumphs of World War II . The second story is a multigenerational American family epic. . . . → Read More: Leeway Cottage

Deafening

Frances Itani’s Deafening features two highly distinct narrative parts. It begins as the story of a young girl from a small town in Ontario who, after contracting Scarlet Fever, loses her hearing at five years of age. The majority of the first part of the book follows Grania’s struggle to learn language, to develop literacy (both literal and emotional) and, as a result, to learn how to form and maintain relationships after having lost her hearing at such a crucial stage in childhood development. . . . → Read More: Deafening

The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife is easily one of the best books I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot of books. In fact, I was so impressed by this book that I was completely floored to learn that it was Niffenegger’s first novel. . . . → Read More: The Time Traveler’s Wife