As implied by the title, this book moves crabwise when it moves at all. And although it covers a time period of well over 20 years, it actually moves forward very little. It is, above all, about love and its complexity, sorrow, joy and pain. Mootoo is at her very best in the moments shared between Sydney and Jonathan during Sydney's final hours, as Sydney struggles to impart to Jonathan all that he has been unable to share with him. Deliberately or not, the flow of Mootoo's language becomes awkward near the end, reflecting Jonathan's awkwardness and difficulty in coming to terms with the fact that despite having re-connected with Sydney and spent many long days and hours with him over nine years he had never really known and understood Sydney. Mootoo displays remarkable skill in moving between the voices of Jonathan, Sydney, Zain, Jonathan writing in Sydney's voice and even Jonathan writing in Zain's voice. Despite its slow pace, I found the book to be completely engaging, insightful and in places very moving. I look forward to reading other books by Shani Mootoo.

wyenotgo's rating:
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