Sunday 15 August 2010

Canadian Novel

Finished August 14
Beside Still Waters by Barry Callaghan
This novel did not capture me right away. It was only in the last section of the novel that I really started to be hooked by the story.
The writing however is excellent, and the characters are brought to life.
Adam Waters is the main character and we follow him in different times of his life in 3 locations. One location is Toronto, and we see Adam in various times of his life here, where he grew up. A second location is Puerto Rico, where he serendipitously encounters his first love, Gabrielle, and they fall into each other's arms again. They also tell each other the missing histories of their lives and learn more about what makes each of them live.
The third location is Gabon, where Adam follows Gabrielle's trail. Gabon is in turmoil and Adam makes his way through very dangerous and difficult situations before finding the leper colony where Gabrielle has gone.
Adam is not that happy with his life, but Gabrielle is more unhappy with hers. She finds past experiences limit her ability to be happy in her life.
I think this is why I found it hard to get engaged by the novel at first. With most of the characters unhappy and showing little sign of finding their way to happiness, I was not looking forward to reading more. But at some point I found myself wanting to find out more about the characters and what brought them to where they are.
A very different and interesting book, but thought-provoking.

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