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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.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Wallcreeper

Nell Zink's debut novel takes its name from a small, dull coloured bird that reveals bright red plumage when it opens its wings. It's an odd little book about weird people doing strange things. Their motivations are unknown as are their feelings about the paths their lives have taken.
The novel opens with a miscarriage caused by a bird. Tiffany is married to Stephen, a researcher and fanatical bird watcher. The bird that precipitated the swerve off the road that led to the miscarriage was a wallcreeper. They take the injured wallcreeper home with them and nurse it back to health while Tiffany mourns her loss. She is an unfulfilled, unemployed wife living in Europe who has unfulfilling affairs with a number of unappealing men.
There is no real plot but a lot happens. Rudi, the wallcreeper, is ripped apart by a hawk. The marriage dies. Even Stephen dies with no warning. Tiffany becomes a minor eco-terrorist. I'm still not sure what Zink was trying to tell us but I'd have to say the book appealed to the weirdo in me.

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