Wednesday 10 September 2008

Canadian Fiction

Finished September 9
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay
I read this book for my bookclub (our first book) and enjoyed it, but not as much as I enjoyed Hay's "A Student of Weather".
I really enjoyed the descriptions of the north and what life was like in Yellowknife during the time period in which this book was set.
I found Gwen the most likeable character and enjoyed watching her grow in the book.
The book looks at the characters who work at a radio station in Yellowknife in the late 70s. Harry is an old hand at radio, who tried television and didn't do well there and now has come back to where he started twenty years ago. He sometimes seems older than he is (in his forties). Dido and Gwen are women in their twenties who came to the north for different reasons, but both end up working at the radio. Dido is from the Netherlands and has a beautiful voice. Gwen is interested in a behind the scenes job, but ends up on air, and grows into her job.
Eleanor is the receptionist, who plays an important role at the station, and in the book.
Besides the life in Yellowknife and at the radio station, the book also encompasses a six-week trip (hiking and canoe) by four of the book's characters, and that trip really does a lot for Gwen in particular.
The book sometimes moves slowly, but is always drawing one on, wanting to see what develops for the characters.

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