From the Publisher Alastair Luce is a dreamer, one of three who tell this tale. A Canadian expat in the 1950s, he lives in a New York City suburb with his wife, Nora, a passionate American who misses the excitement of wartime life and finds an outlet — and a lover — during the Red scare. Alastair’s an artist, a quiet man who paints houses for a living, fears atomic holocaust, drinks too much and worries about his suffering child Grace. Just before the accident that kills his daughter’s best friend Todd, he offers a ride to their teenage neighbour, Claire Bernard. She continues the story as a witness to tragedy, a wry observer of suburban mores and a compassionate friend of Alastair, whose talent and politics she’d long admired. Yet in the era of Vietnam, she’s not prepared for his love or his anguish as she marries and leaves for Canada. In Toronto, it’s Alastair’s exiled daughter Grace who speaks, giving voice to her fury, an artist who works to “burn” the city down with brilliant colour, who resents Claire for hurting her dad, and still grieves the loss of young Todd. Yet Grace, Claire and Alastair are bound together by their history, and a crisis draws their painful stories to a climax. It’s then that Grace ventures homeward for the first time, into a startling vision of the unknown.
Worth Getting in Bed For? Yes Families live alone. I found this dark and delightful. Although the beginning is a little muddled and overcome with similes, the story and words start flowing and by page 23 I started marking passages and didn’t stop until the very end. Giangrande has a gift for describing something by stringing the right words and sensations together. One of my favorites, She couldn’t stop that cruel lash of insult in her head. Meanness wrapped itself around her tongue like the soft, moist inside of a chocolate. So I’m a shit. There are so many wonderful descriptions throughout this novella.
The other thing I liked about this is that the story is told through three narrators, all unreliable. This adds depth of perspective and I found myself liking seemingly unlikable characters. This is really well done and I find somewhat difficult for authors to convince the reader to like such characters. Overall, an almost flawless creation that really stuck with me. I look forward to reading more from Carole Giangrande.
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About the Author Born and raised in the New York City area, Carole Giangrande is a Toronto-based novelist and author of eight books, including the award-winning novella, A Gardener On The Moon, the novels An Ordinary Star and A Forest Burning, a short story collection, Missing Persons and the novella, Midsummer. Her new novella, Here Comes The Dreamer, will be published in September. A former broadcast-journalist, she worked for CBC Radio (Canada’s public broadcaster) as co-host of the popular Radio Noon program. She’s read her fiction at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, at the Banff Centre for the Arts (as an Artist-in-Residence), the University of Toronto, on radio and at numerous public venues. Her fiction, articles and reviews have appeared in Canada’s major journals and newspapers and her 50-part literary podcast Words to Go has been downloaded over 20,000 times in 30 countries. She is currently at work on a novel.
Visit Carole’s website at http://www.carolegiangrande.com, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.