Book - 2019
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Felicia and Edgar meet as their mothers are dying. Felicia, a teen from an island nation, and Edgar, the lazy heir of a wealthy German family, come together only because their mothers share a hospital room. While Felicia and Edgar don't quite understand each other, and Felicia recognizes that Edgar is selfish, arrogant, and often unkind, they form a bond built on grief (and proximity) that results in the birth of a son. This is a profoundly insightful exploration of the bizarre ways people become bonded that insists that family isn't a matter of blood.
Publisher: Toronto, ON :, Random House Canada,, [2019]
Description: 448 pages : illustration ; 24 cm
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780735274051
Branch Call Number: Will
Additional Contributors: Williams, Ian, 1979- Reproduction


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Dec 14, 2020

I did not let the experimental structure (and changes in structure) throughout this book put me off. I did wonder why the author made those choices. Still when I just surrendered to it, there was an immediacy and intimacy achieved with the characters inner states and interactions with each other. I came to like the section where it was just two sides of a conversation. The last section, where the narrative actually kind of gets cancerous (with endless intrusions in the narrative by statements in small print) is challenging at first. One wonders why the author chose the interruptions. But then you realize that it is probably what the state of mind would be like for a person who has cancer and is on a lot of morphine (a main character) - a lot of drifting from the narrative with little wisps of semi-related thoughts. I loved how these relationships were presented stripped of any romantic cliches. They felt real. I suggest folks give the book a chance - it will get under your skin later on, in a way that is most worthwhile.

Nov 08, 2020

AB @noon. About new books. Recommendation of a listener

Sep 09, 2020

Wow, Wow, WOW!

The subject of this work of fiction is pretty heavy - love/sex/rape/family, but the characters are engaging and the writing is inventive and funny, even poetic. There are lots of subtle and not so subtle easter eggs: They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, No, no, no. And, as a bonus - set in Brampton! I think this would make a great audiobook, but, sadly, that isn’t an option on the VPL website.

Read STPL_JessH’s review from Sep 05, 2019.

Jul 21, 2020

First I have to say that I've never written a book review before because I can usually read anything and enjoy it. I don't understand how this book won the $100,000 Giller Prize. What a joke! I made it to page 72 with perseverance. It was the most painful read ever. The characters were one-dimensional and hard to understand and the plot was unclear. What the heck were they even talking about? The story was clearly not going to get any better so I decided not to waste one more minute of my time. I would have given it negative stars if I could've figured out how to do that.

Apr 13, 2020

Unusual format and writing style, easy to read but still literary, enjoyable read in spite of rambling story, juvenile tone and despicable characters.

Mar 23, 2020

The book did have a number of good reviews so I borrowed it and started reading. Somehow I read through it because of some strange fascination with weird chapter after chapter. It is the most disjointed and confusing book I have ever read.
This certainly shows Ian William's unique writing stye that obviously impressed a number of critics but not so much me. It was definitely not a page turner and many evenings I had to retrieve the book from the floor after slipping into a coma.
I could not recommend this to other readers as entertaining or a relaxing book to enjoy.

Mar 07, 2020

Could have been a good story but the writing got in the way. Stilted drivel . Wow what a waste of lifespan reading this mess

Mar 04, 2020

If this was the winner of the Giller Prize I won’t bother attempting to read any of the losers.

Feb 29, 2020

One star is generous. Boring, cringe-inducing male protagonist, needy and naive female protagonist. 448 pages in paperback - life is too short to waste on this Giller prize winner.

Feb 10, 2020

Did the author find using quotation marks to denote direct speech too onerous? There is a good reason most people who write books use them- so their readers can figure out who is speaking.
So this novel won a Giller prize? I have only one thing to say " the Emperor has no clothes on."

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