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Customer Review

on 19 October 2013
I'm not sure how I became aware of this book, but what an innovative treasure. The author's award-winning debut novel is an imaginative collection of short stories, many told in the first person, tied together by being set in the Kootenay Valley of British Columbia (where the author was born and grew up). It's a series of snapshots that together build an album of life, love and relationships in small-town Canada, much of it centred around working class folk with limited hopes and aspirations. However, this seemingly depressing scenario is lifted by the convincingly detailed prose and descriptive passages. I was reminded in parts of James Joyce's stream-of-consciousness technique by the effective sparse punctuation. Gloomy as some of the stories seem, at times, to someone lucky enough to have moved around and travelled quite a bit, the author manages to round off the book on a note of optimism and future contentment. The book is a diversion from established novel techniques, where a sequential story is expected, but I found it fresh and fascinating. The descriptive passages carry a similar weight and veracity to C.J. Box's books set in his native Wyoming. For under a fiver in Kindle form, this is a true bargain that I'll be recommending to friends (it's already in my wife's Kindle). Highly recommended as an insight to a very different lifestyle and environment.
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