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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.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Minister Without Portfolio

Henry Hayward was given the boot by his girlfriend, Nora. He and his friend John Hynes go to work in Afghanistan as civilian contractors for the Canadian Forces where they meet up with Tender Morris, a friend from St. John’s. A Taliban suicide bomber attacks their jeep, killing Tender, a tragedy for which Henry feels responsible because he had Tender’s gun which could have used to kill the Afghan insurgent. Henry returns to Canada and enters into a relationship with Tender's girlfriend, Martha, who is pregnant with the dead soldier's child. Henry is struggling to make sense out of the horror he has witnessed and yearns to atone. He buys half of Tender's family home and endeavours to restore it, hoping that a new house will result in a new life. The characters who live in the Newfoundland community of Renews are a "community of a hundred people" for whom he feels responsible. This is a novel about loss and guilt and how a new life can be forged from struggle. I recommend it.

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