#5 – A Good Man – Guy Vanderhaeghe

Multi-award-winning author Guy Vanderhaeghe’s eagerly awaited new novel is a dazzling follow up to his bestselling The Englishman’s Boy and The Last Crossing (a Canada Reads winner!).

A Good Man culminates what could be thought of as a trilogy of books set in the late nineteenth-century Canadian and American West, and it is a masterpiece. Vanderhaeghe skilfully weaves a rich tapestry of history with the turns of fortune of his most vividly and compellingly drawn cast of characters yet. Vanderhaeghe entwines breathtaking, intriguing, and richly described narratives that contain a compelling love story, a tale of revenge and violence, a spectacular battle scene, the story of an incident in Welsely’s past that threatens his relationship with Ada, and much, much more. While raising moral questions, this novel weaves the historical with the personal and stands as Vanderhaeghe’s most accomplished and brilliant novel to date. – Publishers Website

Although, I haven’t read the two earlier novels that pre-date this one.  It is certainly a book that you can read by itself.  I really enjoyed Guy’s writing style, it was a comfortable, relaxing read.  It was a book that mellowed you out, made you comfortable where ever it was I read.  It is one of those books that you can wind down from a long hectic day at work, certainly not one that will put you to sleep; but one that just mellows you out so you are able to enjoy it fully. At least it was for me, you may experience it differently.

Between the main characters brief stint in the Northwest Mounted Police, as well as others you will learn about; he is keeping a dreadful secret.  One, that he thinks will end his career or at least his reputation.  Determined to go on his own, he leaves Canada for the American West.  When there he learns the tales of others who are rather unsavoury and out to get him, or others as the plot progresses.

Then of course there is a  woman – Ada Tarr, married the town’s lawyer, who has a past of her own.  Sitting Bull has a cameo in this novel as well, the portrayal is stunning to his own real-life description. The fighting/war scenes are of course a staple in this historical gem of a read.  It does however, make you ask yourself some tough questions, whether you are a fan of Guy’s past works, or your first foray into his world, you certainly will not be  disappointed.


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