Saturday 30 October 2010

Canadian Fiction

Finished October 27
Sanctuary Line by Jane Urquhart
This is a wonderful read of a novel. Slow, lots of character development, an inward-looking book. Told in a narrative manner by a single speaker, this book looks back at the past with new eyes. We don't learn until the end who the listener is that is being told the story. The speaker is Liz Crane, an entomologist specializing in butterflies. She lives alone in the farmhouse that she spent the summers in as a child. Her story takes us back to the summer that she was sixteen and gradually reveals to us the events that changed her life and the lives of everyone else there. The first part of the story sets the scene, introduces the characters, and brings the setting to life. Prompting this look back is the recent death by IED of Liz's cousin Amanda in Afghanistan.
Liz tells us not just of her family and her aunt and uncle's family, and of the Mexican farm workers, but also of ancestors, both farmers and lighthouse-keepers. All the past comes to influence the events that happened that summer. This book is one to savour and read slowly and take the time to see the language and the story.

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