3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2011
There are some 200 page books which outstay their welcome. Equally, there are many works which, in spite of their length, you do not wish to end. Newfoundland is such a novel. It's hard to describe but I would compare it to Under Milkwood - the lives of the inhabitants of a Welsh seaside town - and Tolstoy - where the ordinary events of family life are described with such accuracy that new depths and truths are revealed. The book may be epic in proportion but it is not in anyway sprawling. Storylines are followed to logical conclusions. While for me there is the occasional fault - I don't want to read the word "render" again for a while and the descriptions of the re-building process take up too much space at times, what stands out and leaves a lasting impression are the author's original and wonderful qualities. The prose is realistic: stark, but infused with such a beauty that there are moments of sheer poetry on practically every page. Dialogue is superb - always realistic, never a false note. Above all is a deep, psychological insight into how families, relationships work, how we say things on the surface but think other things we can't express. I haven't read more honest depictions of infidelity, domestic violence, of what motivates people to act in the way they do in a provincial setting. If all that sounds depressing, it isn't. It's a beautiful, uplifting book that should be much better known. Buy it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2014
This book is a masterpiece. I know it is brilliant because I bought copies for all my friends and none of them liked it. At this point I must declare a bias. I read Ms Ray's book A Certain Age and adored its prose poem style. Newfoundland speaks with a unique voice that many (my friends) may find overwhelming. But the beauty of the language, the Dylan Thomas like use of rhythm, the character led tonal brilliance is enough to make a thousand dense pages enough to change your opinion of what a novel can be and what it can achieve. Magnificent.