Wednesday, January 23

Book Review: February

Title: February

Author: Lisa Moore

Pages: EBook 189

Summary: In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's Day storm. All eighty-four men aboard died. February is the story of Helen O'Mara, one of those left behind when her husband, Cal, drowns on the rig. It begins in the present-day, more than twenty-five years later, but spirals back again and again to the "February" that persists in Helen's mind and heart. Writing at the peak of her form, her steadfast refusal to sentimentalize coupled with an almost shocking ability to render the precise details of her characters' physical and emotional worlds, Lisa Moore gives us her strongest work yet. Here is a novel about complex love and cauterizing grief, about past and present and how memory knits them together, about a fiercely close community and its universal struggles, and finally about our need to imagine a future, no matter how fragile, before we truly come home. This is a profound, gorgeous, heart-stopping work from one of our best writers.

My Rating: 9.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: A stunning and at times haunting read, which had be lost in some of the passages throughout the book. It will easily be one of my favourite reads of the year.

There were many times I was completely lost in the writing and the passages throughout the book, the author is a spectacular writer and I found myself constantly making notes on many passages throughout the book - sometimes two or three on the same page. It was absolutely stunning and it helped the reader get inside Helen's mind and almost feel the emotions and psychological turmoil she was going through. The author did a fantastic job at showing this heartbreak and loss of her husband, its affect on the world around Helen and those around her. I found it to be an emotional book and I was becoming invested with Helen and how her life would turn out. The parts focusing on her husband and the oil rig were haunting - I almost wish there had been a little more on what had really happened when the oil rig went down. Although I do prefer the way the author choose to mainly focus on Helen. Helen's voice telling the story, her reactions, what went through her mind and was a fantastic way to tell the story and I think it probably made it that much more intriguing, as there is always the unknown lurking in the readers minds on what happened in the last moments of the oil rig. It also created a well developed character in Helen, which added to the whole reading experience.

John's parts were one of my only issues for this book. His storyline kind of slowed the natural flow down, and I didn't exactly like him as a character. I wish the focus on him was less than it was, and more on Helen's story but he was still a character who was well developed, I just wasn't a particular fan of him.

In the end, it was an excellent read which has me looking forward to reading more works from the author.

Would I recommend it to read: I would! Even the slower parts make it a book well worth reading. Between beautiful passages, strong plot, and some good characterization it has elements for all readers to enjoy.

What to read next: Indian Horse, Away, Age of Hope, Two Solitudes, Fall on Your Knees, more by the author.

Challenges: 100 Book Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, EBook Challenge, New Authors Challenge, Read-a-latte Challenge

11 comments:

  1. This is the Canada Reads finalist that I most want to read. I am loving her short stories right now - what an incredible writer! I heard her interviewed on CBC last week talking about the Ocean Ranger and how there was very little information for her to use about life on the rig and no video to watch (industrial secrecy) so she had to imagine all that. Thanks for shring your thoughts on this book.

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    1. Which makes what she wrote about the oil rig all the more better. I haven't listened to a lot of the author interviews - perhaps I should one I've finished the books it looks like I'm missing out. Are her short stories as good as February?

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    2. Lisa Moore's short fiction blows my mind! I have been working my way through "Selected Fiction" from Anansi Press since the new year and savouring each one because I don't want to come to the end.

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  2. I agree with you (especially your thoughts on John) and am also rooting for it to take Canada Reads.

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    1. I read your review as well, interesting we both feel the same way about John. And I'm glad to see more people out there rooting for it too, I was worried it would be under represented.

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  3. I hadn't yet heard of this book, but I am not all that familiar with the Canada Reads books, and now I know that I am going to have to get on point with them. This sounds like a beautiful book, and one that I would love to get engrossed with. Despite the sections that focus on John being a bit slow, this sounds like a fantastic read. Very nicely done review today, Jules!

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    1. If you only read one of the Canada Reads contenders, this is the book to read. I loved Away, and Jane Urquhart is an author who I want to read everything, so she is highly recommend. But February beats away out of the water.

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  4. it sounds just wonderful! :-) thanks for the great review.

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    1. It was wonderful, and it won Canada Reads 2013 - be sure to check it out!

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  5. Loved reading about the Canada Challenge and this sounds like a great book.

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    1. It was a great book. Next year be sure to check out the Canada Reads Event.

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