Virago UK, trade pb, 186 p.
A young woman returns to northern Quebec to the remote island of her childhood, with her lover and her two friends, to investigate the mysterious disappearance of her father. Flooded with memories, she begins to realise that going home means entering not only another place but another time. As the wild island exerts its elemental hold and she is submerged in the language of the wilderness, she sees that what she is really looking for is her own past.It started out not too bad and while it never really grabbed me I did enjoy the descriptions of the Canadian wilderness in Quebec, but I quite lost interest in the story, and the characters near the end. I skimmed a couple of essays about the novel online and they talk about identity (and the search thereof) and language (and the inability to communicate). I could appreciate these elements and I’m sure there is plenty of deeper meaning here but I’ve never been terribly good at figuring out the hidden symbolism in literature. So on the surface, for me at least, it was a disappointing read that I couldn't relate to and was glad to finish. I will read Atwood again because I’ve found that she’s hit or miss with me (hits include Alias Grace, and The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake was ok, but then I really really disliked The Blind Assassin) so hopefully I’ll enjoy the next book of hers that I read.
My Rating: 2.5/5
(#10 for 2008, My Year of Reading Dangerously #3)