If you have ever experienced grief first hand, there are certain thoughts and feelings that come along with it and at times there just aren’t words to be able to express them fully to a person who hasn’t been through it themselves. Albeit, the death of a loved one such as a parent or a partner or primary breadwinner in Eastern Canada aboard an oil rig or anything of the like until now.
Helen’s husband works on an offline oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland, and all of a sudden she has this in inescapable feeling that her husband is dead or something horrible has happened. Everyone that she tells this to tells her she is silly and that everything is fine, but then the comes the news – The oil rig the “Ocean Ranger” has sunk off the coast of Newfoundland in a fierce storm on the most loving day of the year – Valentine’s Day, 1982.
Helen’s husband and 83 other men perished. What she doesn’t yet know is that she is pregnant with their 4th child.
Going from the past to present in the novel, Lisa Moore encompasses you in Helen’s grief so utterly and completely and at times without you even knowing it until you are smack dab in the middle of what she is experiencing until you take a breath and then you realize you’re there. At this point you really have only 2 choices, put the book down or continue on and wait for the tears to flow.
Lisa definitely takes you on a journey of life, loss, grief, and finding oneself and finally being able to let go.
I have to admit, this book is will hands down be one of my absolute favourites for 2009. I know that I have said that in 2 posts so far, but book February is definitely at the top of that list. Totally engulfing, mesmerizing, and succinct, she has a way with words and how she puts them all together that will leave you breathless and wanting more.
She was also a Giller Prize Short Listed Nominee for Open and Alligator.
Thanks to Julie for sending me this wonderful book.
House of Anansi (you can purchase the book here as well)