Shortlisted for the Giller Prize - 2003
My Rating: 4.5/5
A long book, at over 700 pages, but it was a compelling read so it kept me up late several nights, not wanting to put it down. By turns shocking, frustrating, touching, amusing, thought-provoking, it's beautifully written with characters that came across so real, faults and all. Right from the beginning, I cared what happened to the young heroine of the story, Madeleine, and her family. I simply had to keep reading to see how it would all turn out. I even learned a little about what life was like in the 60s during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and life in the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force). Plus, it was interesting to learn that part of the plot is actually based on the real life case of Stephen Truscott and that MacDonald apparently grew up in the same region, during the same time period. It has left me thinking about secrets, their consequences, and living with the choices one makes. A truly great read; it's one of the best books I've read this year!
"Afterwards, in bed with a book, the spell of television feels remote compared to the journey into the page. To be in a book. To slip into the crease where two pages meet, to live in the place where your eyes alight upon the words to ignite a world of smoke and peril, colour and serene delight. That is a journey no one can end with the change of a channel. Enduring magic."