Friday, November 13, 2015

BOOKS: Great Canadian Writers (who happen to be women)

Did I not write about any of these books yet this year? They were all fabulous, each in their own way.  I shouldn't be surprised because they are written by some quality writers, who happen to be Canadian, and who happen to be women.

Rush Home Road - Lori Lansens, 416 pages
Also read: The Girls, The Wife's Tale 

Did I like this better than The Wife's Tale? Maybe, this was very good, and so different from her other books. It's the end of the underground railroad, but in modern day Ontario. A five year old girl Sharla is left with her seventy year old neighbour, Addy. That shouldn't be allowed to happen obviously, but no one has ever been looking out for Sharla, and Addy ends up being the best thing for her. And it turns out Addy needed Sharla too. The introduction of Sharla sends Addy back remembering her life as a child and young girl. Life can be tough for women, what with the lying men all around. I just loved how Lansens framed the story with the back and forth in time, how she incorporated the history of the African community in Canada, and the evolution of the delightful character of Addy.

Next up: Lansens' latest book, The Mountain Story

The Empty Room - Lauren B Davis, 320 pages
already read: Our Daily Bread

How bad is it when an alcoholic reaches rock bottom? Horrifically bad. Colleen is nearly fifty, and in such denial. Most of the novel takes place over one very long, very depressing day in Colleen's life, essentially a country song as she loses nearly everything (job, apartment, friends) and the only coping mechanism she has had, alcohol, is letting her down. She's very close to drinking herself to death. How engrossing the story, how inside Colleen's head we get is a testament to the author.
 Next up: The Stubborn Season, or The Radiant City, or Against a Darkening Sky (which looks really good, it's the latest!)

Republic of Love - Carol Shields, 384 pages
Also read: every other novel Shields wrote

This was the last novel I had left to read by Shields, and I'd been putting it off. What if I don't like it? What if I do, and then there are no more? You can see the dilemma. I did like it, and now there are no more for me. This one ends up being one of my favourites, along side Unless. It's a simple story, about two people, finding love. That's it. There are no big dramatics, everything is watching these two different people, who have not been able to 'settle down' get together. Much of the book is waiting for them to meet. It's delicious waiting to see how their Venn diagram of acquaintances will eventually overlap.
Next up: no more novels :(