Monday 19 September 2011

River City

Finished September 19
River City by John Farrow
This wide-ranging novel was a little long for me. At first I found it tough going, but a little more than halfway through it started to flow for me. It helped that it told you what time period you were in. I think once I saw the connection directly between the different time periods that helped.
Taking the reader from the time of Cartier until the early 1970s, this book covers a great deal of Quebec history. The author mixes real history with fiction in a seamless way that makes me interested in reading some straight-up history to figure out which parts are real. I feel like I learned a lot of history, but am unsure which parts are real.
He takes us through many explorers of New France, and through many leaders. Particularly prominent characters include Houde, Duplessis, and Trudeau. These historical figures and the fictional ones alongside them come to life here.
This book is history, social commentary, and a mystery all rolled into one. We have the struggle of French-English that still exists in Quebec. We have the corruption that still apparently exists. We have real history of riots, FLQ, and discovery. We have the role of the Catholic Church. And we have passion throughout.
All the main characters throughout time were passionate about what they were doing. That really comes through here and makes the book.
A good, if rather long, read.

1 comment:

  1. This book counts toward two challenges: The Canadian Book Challenge and the Chunkster Challenge (at 843 pages)