I started this book based on the strong positive reviews... I am sorry that I spent the money on it because I was very disappointed.
Basically three (or five) stories pieced together that connect in different ways, but each story is not fully told and thus the plot loses steam just when it gets good. Blah.
This was the first book I've read by this author, and I have to say that the writing is excellent. The descriptions and character development drew me in and I was consistently intrigued by the style and details. The story is about 2 girls and a neighboring boy that are raised by a widowed father who is emotionally distant. The book then jumps around to their 3 separate young adult lives as well as the life of a poet, Lucien Segura, that one of the daughters is researching. His childhood as well as the lives of the neighbors he has in his later life are outwardly completely different from the first family, and yet there are common themes that run through both. Be aware that there are several fairly violent scenes, which I understand are necessary for the lives to take the turns that they do. I'm still contemplating the ending, it's a book that you can read quickly or slowly, and take time to digest during as well as after.
Disjointed dual stories with a disappointing end.
A novel by the author of The English Patient. This book pulls you immediately into the lives of two sisters, Anna and Claire, and their different bonds to an orphaned neighbor boy, Coop, who came to live in an old log cabin on their land. The novel is told by each of them, talking in the present and the past, and winds through a tale that holds you spellbound until the very end. The story is wrapped around how each of them respond to a single event in time, and how it informs the rest of their lives. It is a roller coaster of emotion, memory, what could have been, and what really is - for each of them. I could not put it down from the first page to the last page.
Another amazing work from Sri Lankan Canadian author Michael Ondaatje. I always enjoy his writing style, which is beautiful and evocative. The novel ties together many characters and their stories, which take place across many decades and different countries. Also immediately after finishing the book I started re-reading passages.
Specters of a past calamity haunt the members of a rural California family. Thus, in the first two-thirds of this book we follow them as they search for new beginnings. Then two characters melt away. What happens to them? Interpolate to your own desire. The last character has emigrated to rural France to search the life of an obscure writer; the final third of the book is about that writer; the original character is lost to the reader. Frankly, while I found the early plot rather ordinary, this part became downright tedious. Al least for me, non-sophist that I am.
I'm so glad I'm not alone in giving it only 3 stars. Good writing, but even though I'm a very intelligent woman, I didn't get it!! Like others said, some great characters, some good writing and then what? It doesn't hold together.