He really made this book interesting and the tones he used with the voicing of the different characters was brilliant. Orphaned at 17 by the suicides of his parents, he goes to live with an uncle and aunt and their adopted daughter, Tilda, in a maritime village north of his native Halifax. It would have been expected that he would be devastated by at least some of these events, but the author did not convey this reaction. This story seemed to be all senseless acts of violence and grief infli What is Left the Daughter is one, long letter written by Wyatt Hillyer to his daughter Marlais. I learned new things about Halifax Harbour and built on what I already new about rural Nova Scotia life in the mid 20th century. As a librarian I heartily approve of this book.
In What Is Left the Daughter, Norman writes with spare elegance and dry humor, and the extraordinary emotional power of his slim new novel is earned with authentic grace. I did have a few chuckles 2 I think. I had a hard time caring for any of the characters, even taking into account the fact that the whole novel is a subjective presentation of a series of Wyatt's memories. There were no heroes here and I didn't find much redemption either. My aunt went into the kitchen and put the kettle on. . All entries copyright Rohan Maitzen.
Returning to Canada's Maritime provinces in his latest novel, What Is Left the Daughter, acclaimed author Howard Norman has created an unpredictable and absorbing story of an imperfect and tragic life at a turning point. I understand Canadian geography a lot better now! The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda. The sinking of a civilian ferry will bring shattering changes to the small town of Middle Economy, Nova Scotia and the family at the heart of Norman's story. Anger and uncertainty towards Germans and living by the side of a radio, waiting and listening for any news of the war. I expect grief and horror from a book set during the war, but usually that is accompanied by great human courage and sacrifice.
Norman weaves the historical incidents of German U boats, the attacks on Canadian civilians, and the blatant mistrust and hatred of German immigrants through the narrative. It is his story to her of her family, their tragedies, and their love for one another. Wyatt is such a bystander loser in his own life. Some pretty heavy things happen to this young man, but he never lets us in. His parents' double suicide changed his life forever.
Norman has developed this brave, emotionally reticent man with great delicacy. Initially, I was not smitten with this book. I've waited until now to relate the terrible incident that I took part in on Oct. Setting in motion the novels chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. This Washington writer maintains such a measured tone that his story seems shocking only in retrospect. Donald confesses and gets life; Wyatt, morally innocent but legally culpable, draws a short sentence.
This book is a fantastic look at the Canadian life during the second world war, touching on the fears of old men hunched over their radios and whispering about the U-Boats to the prejudices of the young over-zealots, attacking even those speaking with an accent. It's not the book's fault. The novel is told in a gentle, frequently subdued manner, yet it contains many stirring and profound moments. This is still an amazing novel, just not as great as I expected. He goes to live with his Aunt, Uncle, and adopted cousin Tilda, who becomes the love of his life. In portraying the language of the Roman working class, Moravia said, he eschewed the vernacular of the street in favor of a more formal literary construction. Northern Tales, translated into Italian and Japanese, was Norman's first book translated into foreign language.
These events fuel and entangle the lives of the characters, creating pain and havoc and motivating one of the saddest destructive familial scenes I've ever come across in fiction. I was all set to give this 5 stars but the last couple of chapters sort of fell flat for me. Perfect narration by Bronson Pinchot. This book caught my eye simply because of the title. It is extraordinary that a story which carries such a weight of sorrow is never depressing, but Norman the master craftsman pulls it off. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda. It's a sad portrait of justified alarm and corrosive rage that ruins those he most wants to protect.
Read his guest review of What Is Left the Daughter: As my sainted grandmother used to say, with a hard look right straight at 12-year-old, misbehaving me, let's not mince words here. The sinking of a civilian ferry will bring shattering changes to the small town of Middle Economy, Nova Scotia and the family at the heart of Norman's story. As it progressed I sometimes I found my throat closing and my eyes spilling over with tears. Maybe this is what we readers owe the brilliant or the almost-brilliant in this case books in our lives: that we take them around with us after, never wanting them to feel wholly settled, but rather perched just this side of comfortable. Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents commit suicide, causing him to move to a small-town, and setting in motion the novel's chain of life-altering passions, including the fathering of a beloved daughter. I had a very hard time with Wyatt Hillyer. I always thought the title of this novel was pretty and intriguing.
The failure is with me, not the book or the movies. His characters are well drawn and true to life. Sometimes, these vignettes are effective. Comments that contribute civilly and constructively to discussion of the topics raised on this blog, from any point of view, are welcome. His father was absent much of the time; his mother babysat other children. Have you ever noticed how that works with leftovers? I know many others rated this book very high, I'm a hard sell and I think some of the subject matter was very boring to me. The epistolary form of this novel is a cri de coeur from an author faithful to the printed word in a time of promiscuous texting, friending and tweeting.