Wednesday 20 April 2011

Deloume Road

Finished April 19
Deloume Road by Matthew Hooton
Another new voice in Canadian fiction pulls off a great first novel.
This book is set the summer in a small rural community on Vancouver Island during the first Gulf War. We get a variety of points of view of the people who live on Deloume Road and also occasional flashbacks to 1899 from Gerard Deloume, whom the road is named after.
We see the young boy Matthew and his developmentally disabled brother Andy. We see Matthew's friend Josh. There is another young boy Miles, whose family circumstances leave him feeling along in many ways. There is a Ukrainian immigrant butcher, who runs a deli and pig farm. We see Al Henry, a native artist whose pilot son has crashed in the northern B.C. bush, and his wife Beth. We experience the feelings of Irene, a young Korean widow, waiting on the birth of her child. The characters are different ages and from different backgrounds, but have Deloume Road in common.
Above all, we see how these lives come together and touch each other in ways that change lives. There is a real sense of community here, and a sense of loss. The characters here all experience or have experienced some type of loss, and while they are different losses, the feelings are common.
This is a poignant book with great characters and great imagery.