Sunday, March 1
Book Review: Monkey Beach
Author: Eden Robinson
Pages: EBook 230
Summary: Five hundred miles north of Vancouver is Kitamaat, an Indian reservation in the homeland of the Haisla people. Growing up a tough, wild tomboy, swimming, fighting, and fishing in a remote village where the land slips into the green ocean on the edge of the world, Lisamarie has always been different.
Visited by ghosts and shapeshifters, tormented by premonitions, she can't escape the sense that something terrible is waiting for her. She recounts her enchanted yet scarred life as she journeys in her speedboat up the frigid waters of the Douglas Channel. She is searching for her brother, dead by drowning, and in her own way running as fast as she can toward danger. Circling her brother's tragic death are the remarkable characters that make up her family: Lisamarie's parents, struggling to join their Haisla heritage with Western ways; Uncle Mick, a Native rights activist and devoted Elvis fan; and the headstrong Ma-ma-oo (Haisla for "grandmother"), a guardian of tradition.
My Rating: 7.75/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: The book was a slow moving, coming of age book, but it was a good, slow moving book. I enjoyed the fact the author took the time to explore Lisa's past and how it affected her to be the person she was.
The spiritual/magical realism side of things was an interesting touch. I would have like to understand it more and I wish it was explored more. The author tied into the story wonderfully and it complimented the story, particularly Lisa's development nicely, I just wanted more on it. Especially considering it was such an important part of who Lisa was and how it connected her to the other characters.
I loved the writing, it pulled me in and flowed wonderfully throughout the book. One of my main draws into the story, was the writing alone. There were times, where I didn't enjoy the plot as much, a few bits of Lisa's past that I felt I had to push through, but the writing, made it worth it.
I can't say I liked or disliked the characters. All were well written, well developed. They all had their demons, secrets and overall, I found them all to compliment and come together well. Yet, I don't think I can say they was a character that stood out, and I don't feel they stuck with me.
The ending was well done, it was ambiguous and left a lot open - but a lot of the book was like that, there were a few things I questioned in this book, that were hinted at, but nothing ever was laid out in the open if it was true or not. But, despite this, I think it was a fitting ending, and despite not knowing all the answers, I think it was the best part of the book - for once I liked the unknown for the ending.
Good read overall.
Would I recommend it to read: I would, well written story, very good choice if you enjoy coming of age stories
What to read next: The Diviners
Challenges: 100+ Books Challenge, 2015 Category Challenge, 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, EBook Challenge, New Author Challenge, The Ultimate Canadian Reading Challenge