Mesmerizing storytelling, great themes embodied and hidden in the workings of realistic relationships and lives, precise language and a strong whiff of the uncanny -- a magnificent novel. * A moving and memorable epic tale that spans decades and continents to bring us the riches of one family's history of intertwined lives. * In the farming ...
Mesmerizing storytelling, great themes embodied and hidden in the workings of realistic relationships and lives, precise language and a strong whiff of the uncanny -- a magnificent novel. * A moving and memorable epic tale that spans decades and continents to bring us the riches of one family's history of intertwined lives. * In the farming country of Winnipeg, two brothers grow up and apart in the 1930s, gravitating towards a parent each as mother and father themselves find a changing climate in world affairs reaching out to their rural backwater and prising them asunder...* Exhaustion is crippling FIka at the icecap; it's midwinter 1960, and she's lost her companions to a frosty death, can barely carry her lifeblood, and must still ski for a month yet to reach civilization on the other side of the North Pole. Will she survive? Where will she find the will? * Quite how these two gripping tales on their separate sides of the globe unfold and come together as mesmerizingly as they do is the beauty and the accomplishment of this magical epic.
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-06-08 First published to admiring reviews in Canada last fall, Bowering's powerful second novel (after To All Appearances a Lady, 1990) chronicles the tribulations of a Winnipeg family through WWII and the turmoil that follows. Twin brothers at the center of the story reflect parental differences: Gerhard inherits his mother's love of European culture, heading to prewar Germany to study music, while Albrecht stays home to marry the girl next-door. Their father studies "personal magnetism" and falls for a fortune-teller whom he has despised for years. Albrecht's friend, Nate, invents an imaginary companion after his sister burns to death, and Nate's father runs off with a tiger tamer. After the war, Gerhard, who was forced to become a German soldier, disappears into a Soviet labor camp, while Albrecht and Nate find themselves caught up in Korea. Interspersed throughout the narrative is the vividly imagined trek of Fika, a tough Soviet woman who crosses the North Pole to find a new life in Canada. Bowering maps the overlapping territory between science and spiritualism, love and madness. Her family melodrama, reminiscent of John Irving's work in its circus imagery and horrifying losses, occasionally seems misaligned with the Alistair MacLean-like war and ice adventures. But Bowering's characters, steeped in the Canadian virtues of stamina and decency, prove so compelling that few would regard the overabundance of imagery or story lines as anything but a wealth of poetic reflection on tragedy and human endurance. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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