Canada, Richard Ford

(This is actually not a Canadian book.)


I wish I had studied this book in classes in school. I really enjoyed reading it, and I like Ford’s writing. There is a repeated focus on living in the present, and what that means – it takes on both good and bad. Dell, the narrator, doesn’t have wild, intense emotions – even when his parents are taken to jail (no spoiler, because this is revealed in literally the first sentence of the book) everything is subdued, normal, lonely. I felt a whole sense of loneliness in here, emphasized by Montana’s and Saskatchewan’s landscapes.

It’s different than any of the other books I’ve read yet this December. It’s not fast-paced, not driven by action and tension and suspense. It’s a really delicately, subtly-written novel that spoils its own endings and possesses a ridiculous amount of introspection – future, past, and present Dells all intertwined.

Weather means more than time on the prairie, and it measures the changes in oneself that are invisibly occurring.

This is particularly resonant in a  -25 day in Edmonton, as we move into another winter and another holiday season. Even if the narrator of this book isn’t convinced, at the end of it all, that he has a life he considers wonderful, I’m incredibly grateful for what I have, and all my life’s imperfections.


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