The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It is no wonder this won a Pulitzer Prize as this is a great novel with a unique, and beautiful prose style, using language I loved. That style was perfectly matched to the whole setting, like it was too cold to get out a long sentence or even communicate clearly. I felt the cold, felt the bite and the loneliness, and the way that self-reliance is required and how community can be a vital part of that life at the same time. A lot of big ideas in those little sentences, those strange interactions. It felt ragged and rugged, and constructed without being artificial.
Each of the characters were 3D real and subtly endearing. They felt genuine to the place and time, and while they are not the typical character we encounter in mainstream suburbia, they are familiar enough to echo those living close to the land and sea.
The main character grew and changed from the inside out, learning to leave behind the wreckage and make something beautiful. I enjoyed the character relationships a lot, and I loved what the book revealed about the Newfoundland culture.
The book has great drama, a good deal of humor. . . dark humor at times, but humor nonetheless. Mystery, too. The reader is allowed to unravel these mysteries, one by one. And of course there is romance. The book is a gem which I highly recommend.
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