Wednesday 26 May 2021

How a Woman Becomes a Lake

Finished May 20
How a Woman Becomes a Lake by Marjorie Celona

This novel about a woman who disappears on New Year's Day, and the subsequent ramifications of that disappearance is haunting. Vera Gusev had gone out that morning with her dog, to walk by the lake. But something different happened. She used the phone in one of the parking lots there to call the police, saying that she'd found a boy, lost. Then she cried out and left the phone. 
This story begins with the police officer, Lewis, as he finds her car, engine running and doors open, and her dog, but no sign of her. 
A man, Leo, and his two young sons, Jesse, ten, and Dmitri, six, also went to the lake that morning. Leo wanted to write resolutions on paper and make boats to set off on the lake. Leo and his wife Evelina had recently separated, and Leo has taken the boys for this outing this morning. Evelina is worried about how long they've been gone and has called around considering accidents and other such reasons. 
Last night Vera and her husband Denny had an argument, and Denny had gone to see the fireworks alone and then drunk too much. When he awakens to an empty house, he doesn't worry right away, not knowing for sure exactly when his wife left on her outing, but is uneasy about her absence and regretful of their fight. Things haven't been going well lately and he is worried about their relationship, but loves her.
As we learn more about these characters, their motivations, and their worries, we see how their lives intersect, and how they deal with this situation in different ways. We gradually learn what really happened that day, and what the long-term implications are.
I found Vera's viewpoint very interesting, in a cosmic way. This is a story of random encounters that changed people's lives. 

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