Thursday, December 31, 2009

Canada Reads- Marina Endicott

As soon as the Canada Reads picks were announced on CBC I ran to the TPL website and put all of them on hold. They have started streaming in (at an alarming rate actually), so I have started reading. The first to arrive was Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott.

The book tells the story of a middle aged, single, Christian woman (Clara) whose life is turned upside down when she gets into a car accident. The vehicle she hits contains a family much less well off than her. The family had been living in the car- mom, dad, three kids and grandma. When the mother is taken to the hospital following the accident, cancer is found. Advanced cancer. She is confined to the hospital, the family is homeless and motherless.

Clara takes them in, the whole lot of them and she takes care of the mother in the hospital. Her love life even develops, if rather awkwardly, with her priest.

Clara's late life introduction to motherhood is amusingly told. The story is warm and heartfelt. The characters are likeable and well developed. My only problem with the book was the pacing. The book begins with a series of fast paced events that tumble through the first hundred or so pages as Clara settles into her new role. But the writing during these pages is slow and measured. The story ran ahead of the writing. I found this frustrating, I felt like the novel wasn't moving at the pace I wanted. But, as the story settles down, the writing catches up. By the end I had completely changed my mind- I liked the book, I enjoyed reading it.

I am not quite ready to say whether it should win Canada Reads, but I am not discounting it either.

Next up: Ann-Marie MacDonald- Fall on your Knees

- Katy

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