Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Latest Title from my Grab-Bag


It has been a while since I have mentioned my grab-bag of books. My grab-bag is a large shopping bag in my attic that is filled with various paperbacks that I have yet to read. Some have been purchased from garage sales, others have been given from friends. Together they make up a sort of bucket list of reading. It may take the rest of my life to read all of the books, but I will!
The latest title chosen from my grab-bag is The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. I will cover this books in two posts for a couple of reasons. One reason is that the book is very complex. The other is that I have a sick baby, and therefore must make my post short.
When I first began reading this book, my expecations were high due to all of the accolades cast upon the novel. To be honest, after reading the first page, I thought the book was so odd that I wondered if I would finish. By the second page, I was hooked and could hardly stop reading.
Proulx's writing is so stunningly original that it takes a moment to adjust. She writes several passages that I simply have had to go back and re-read because they were so jaw-dropping.
The Shipping News is the story of Quoyle, a pitiful loser of a guy who must uproot his kids after a series of events that include the suicide of his parents and the death of his cheating wife. Quoyle, his two young daughters and an eccentric aunt move to the coast of Newfoundland, which is the home of his ancestors.
The rugged coast and brutal weather of Newfoundland presents challenges for Quoyle and his family. While adjusting to their new life, they must confront bone-chilling cold, unforgiving seas and demons from the past. The difficulties are tempered by Quoyle becoming friends with some quirky Newfoundland folk and his developing ability feel emotions.
Next week, I wil explain my newfound fascination with Newfoundland. I would love to see it, but might be too wimpy about the cold to make it my home.

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