Monday, 29 October 2007

Another Canadian Novel

Finished October 27
Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani
With the success of her earlier novel, Deafening, I wondered if her new book would be as good, but it definitely is. This novel focuses on Georgina Witley, an 80-year-old woman. Georgina was born on the same day as Queen Elizabeth II and has been invited to help celebrate the occasion at Buckingham Palace. As her husband is dead, and her mother is very old, she has decided to go on her own, including driving to the airport in Toronto. Unfortunately she drives off the road into a ravine and is thrown from the car. Unable to move much due to her injuries she finds herself looking back on her life, singing old songs, and remembering the names of the bones in her body that she learned from her grandfather's anatomy book when she was a child.
As she follows her life through her family background, childhood, marriage and motherhood, she recalls family secrets, personal emotions and hardships. She also things about the Queen's life and its similarities and differences to her own.
George, as she is known to her friends, had a life dominated by the women in her family from her grandmother down to her daughter and has good memories with all of them. Her relations with the males in the family are both more difficult and less close, yet affected her life immensely. Her memories draw the characters clearly, showing heartache and resilience and ultimately at comfort with the life she has lived.
A wonderful book.

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