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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


David Gilmour's new novel is actually more of a novella, being a slim 185 pages with very wide margins. Despite its brevity it packs a punch. It's a Saturday evening in Toronto and a man and his much older half sister sit down to drink and talk about their shared past. This will be the last evening of Sally's life; her brother (the narrator known only as M) is there to assist her in committing suicide. He has brought the pills to this party at her request.
We learn that Sally divorced her husband, relocated to Mexico where she tripped on a carpet at a cocktail party, hit her head on a brick fireplace and broke her neck, leaving her disabled in some unnamed but grave way. Throughout the course of the evening many martinis, Drambuies and margaritas are downed and stories are told about Sally's first flame, her failed marriage and her two troubled children, Kyle and Chloe.
Sally does not appear depressed or in pain, she has simply had enough. She approaches her imminent death with grace and humour. She explains, “It’s just that this has become less and less manageable. I don’t want to go into physical details, but you understand. And it’s only going to get worse.”
As the story approached its gentle, inevitable conclusion I hoped that there would be an unexpected turn but it ended where it was meant to end. It is elegantly written and revelatory. I recommend it highly.

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