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February Hardcover – 30 Jan 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: House of Anansi Press (30 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088784202X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887842023
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,966,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Lisa Moore's work is passionate, gritty, lucid and beautiful. She has a great gift" -- Anne Enright "Moore's wonderful fluidity of approach is noticeable right down to the level of her individual sentences. It has been a joy indeed to discover Lisa Moore" Daily Telegraph "An astonishing writer. She brings to her pages what we are always seeking in fiction and only find in the best of it: a magnetizing gift for revealing how the earth feels, looks, tastes, smells, and an unswerving instinct for what's important in life" -- Richard Ford "Heart-warming...domestic fiction at its finest... Moore depicts her characters with compassion and respect... Despite the chill of its title, February exudes the warmth and joyousness of a much sunnier world" -- Michael Arditti Daily Mail "Moore slips [small insights] in so gently you barely feel them, turning a sad story simply told into a minor-key triumph" Guardian --This text refers to the Digital Download edition.

Book Description

A moving and masterful novel from an extraordinary writer comparable to Carol Shields and Mary Lawson, longlisted for the Booker Prize 2010. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A thinking reader on 5 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
Lisa Moore is a subtle writer, building up her picture of long-term bereavement and gradual recovery grain by grain, which draws in the reader to a wholly realised world, across thirty years of a woman's life.

Apart from the meticulously realised retelling of the (true) loss of all hands on a floating oil platform in the North Atlantic on 14 February 1982, there is not a vast amount of plot. But this isn't a shallow thriller, and plot is not Moore's main interest. Rather, she is interested in revealing depths and subtleties of character through the little (or major) incidents of their lives, overshadowed by the disaster. She does so in a non-linear fashion, like a conversation where people reminisce up and down through the well of time.

Individual chapters, particularly towards the end, would stand out as short stories in their own right, and Moore is not averse to introducing characters for single episodes, taking as much care to bring them to life as with the central half-dozen family members. However, the reader becomes especially close to Helen, and to her son John, the two very different individuals who dominate the narrative.

Of all the 2010 long-listed Booker novels, this is the only one which I found personally moving, as the accumulation of detail, especially of the minutiae of loss, becomes overwhelming across 300 pages. The pace never drags, and the characters remain true and fresh to the end. A very satisfying read - and a life-affirming book which surely deserves to win the Booker.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ericmitford on 25 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback
Reviewers seem to be split on this one, but I'm firmly in the `pro' camp. One critic complains of getting lost in the back-and-forth in time that structures the book, yet every chapter heading makes it clear what time we're in. Another says the whole idea of a novel based around a real-life Newfoundland oil-rig disaster three decades ago is a dubious waste of time. Eh?

What Lisa Moore does is to anatomise grief, and methods of coping (or not coping) with it, by incrementally fleshing out the life, thoughts and emotional responses of the main character, widowed Helen, and to a lesser extent her son and daughters. John has discovered that a holiday fling has led to the prospect of a child he hadn't contemplated and may not want. Helen, by contrast, has had snatched away from her the husband she very much wanted to hold on to for ever.

This book could have been dull, or maudlin or just plain irritating, but it never is. Instead it's quiet, thoughtful and redemptive. Time and again I found myself thinking, Yes, that's just right. If you like books like The Shipping News, or anything by Alice Munro, this is for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lucinda Stern on 6 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this, though at times got a little fed up of the multi-point narrative. Moore's writing is tentative, she does not pretend to know what her characters think and feel, often suggesting a string of possibilities. I found it interesting that it is in part the story of the romance of an older lady, but a shame that Moore skims over this, in this the end felt rushed.

The book follows, among other things the story of a birth and of a death. The death is Helen's, the 54 year old grandmother protagonists, husband Cal, on the Ocean Ranger disaster. The birth is of the accidental child of her oldest child John. The blurb suggests that John grapples with what to do about the impending birth, the grappling wasn't too evident.

Moore writes in beautiful, short chapters, which are rich in imagery and place. I imagine that Newfoundland is well captured, but I've never been there. I wondered if Moore had ever been to England, as at one point Helen sits on a coach between Stanstead and Heathrow and rhapsodises about the 'stonewalls and sheep', the Englishness of the countryside.......its sounds more like she is in Yorkshire than near London!

I found it enjoyable, as I have said, and a great book to read on the bus. I did not find it terribly memorable. Its the sort of book I like to take on holiday.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leicsliz on 11 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
This is not a genre I would normally read, but as it was longlisted for the Orange Prize I decided to try it. Set in Canada, this book is about a woman whose husband's life is lost on a floating oil platform in the North Sea. This happened in 1982 - a true fact.

It tells of a woman's long term bereavement and how every part of her life is shadowed by her loss. It is beautifully written - thoughts and emotions are vividly described.

On the negative side, I found the dateline confusing and felt that there was not enough substance in the book for my taste.

I would not want to read this book if I were recently bereaved.....it would be too upsetting.

I do not think this book is a worthy entrant for the Orange Prize.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 6 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading good reviews I bought this on Kindle.
Quite frankly I was glad to be able to 'turn the pages over' quickly.
The plot could have been summarised in one page. A disaster in the past followed by a very ordinary life of reminiscing is padded out by zigzagging back and forward in time. The structure is delineated by dates and places at the beginning of each of the short chapters which lead to a predictable conclusion. The use of the present tense irritated me, and the characters were over described as they could not develop in the non linear telling. Not for me. I cannot understand how it was Booker Prize long list.
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