Sunday 22 May 2011

Bright Before Us

Finished May 21
Bright Before Us by Katie Arnold-Ratliff
I got this book in the mail from Powell's on Friday, and it sounded so interesting I started reading. What a great read. This is a debut novel from a promising new writer. The main character here is Francis. Francis is in his first year of teaching, and has a second grade class. On a field trip, some of the children discover a body on the beach and Francis begins a downward spiral. Immediately he doesn't react as he should by protecting and helping the children, and it only gets worse. He connects the body to a woman from a past relationship and his behaviour becomes erratic and unpredictable. He lets down his students and his wife. The book moves back and forth between Francis in the present, and his past relationship with the woman in the past he still hasn't moved past. Francis is still stuck in the past, reliving his mistakes in this past relationship, and obsessing on his relationship with his parents. His grief is strong, and he uses the coping mechanisms that he knows, which have never really worked for him.
The event of finding the body seems to release a lot of emotion that he has buried and forced him to finally deal with it. But it isn't easy for him to move forward, and even by the end of the book, he still has a lot of difficult times ahead.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished Deloume Road, Wow is all I can say. What a good story. Thanks so much for your review on it.