Thursday, March 09, 2006
Elizabeth and After
I'm a long-time fan of Matt Cohen and have had this book in my possession for a long time. I was slow to pick it up because my spouse didn't particularly care for it. How nuts is that? Anyhow, this is the story of Carl McKelvy told through flashbacks from several perspectives. Carl returns to his hometown in rural Ontario, north of Kingston. He wants to reconnect with his young daughter, Lizzie, and (he hopes) with Lizzie's mother, Chrissie.He encounters many obstacles on the mean streets of West Gull (pop. 684), among them his alcoholic father, women on the make , Chrissie's abusive new partner and his own sad history. The denizens of West Gull remind one of those in a David Adams Richards novel but not quite as tragically etched. I read it and liked it but, seriously folks, the GG? Give me a break. He died 16 days after receiving the award. In my (humble) opinion Last Seen was more award-worthy but this one was a good read about normal folks with some romance and a little bit of drama at the end so read it if you like this sort of stuff.