The Box Garden

by Carol Shields | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 185702088x Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 6/5/2005
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, June 05, 2005
Carol Shields is one of my 'BookCrossing authors', i've discovered her in the last 2 years (Larry's Party & The Stone Diaries). A charity buy for my ever-expanding tbr pile!

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, April 10, 2006
(31/03) Finished - review to follow

This is my fourth Carol Shields, and they have all been very different, but equally enjoyable – I can’t put my finger on what makes her so ‘familiar’ but also magical?

This book follows divorced Vancouvan mother Charleen Forrest* on a personal odyssey, through a cathartic family reunion and a (potentially) tragic event.

*she has kept her married name, "...it seemed a near miracle to be attached to such a name. Woodsy, dark, secret, green with pine needles, exotic."

I loved the train journey across Canada, the brilliant characterisation of ‘ordinary’ and not so ordinary people, the incredible insight and observation. Here are a few examples, from the many hundreds of gold threads woven through this homespun tale:

- About her new partner, in response to a question, why not travel by train from BC to Toronto rather than the usual flight? "He shrugs; he is a man much given to shrugging, resignation being the principle inheritance of his 40 years."

- Charleen talking to her older and more ‘grounded’ sister, about their cold, controlling & exacting mother, "There’s no pleasing her...We’re on a psychic treadmill...we can’t stop trying to please her. There’s no logic to it, only compulsion."

- Charleen, a successfully published but rather reluctant poet talking about her objective style, as opposed to the ‘Pome people’ whom she derides for "...treasuring their dreams as though they were rare oriental currency blazoned with symbolic stamping. For me dreams are no more than rag-ends caught in a sort of human lint-trap, psychic fluff...To value one’s dreams is to encourage the most debilitating of diseases, subjectivity" p109 – read this whole conversation, and I challenge you *not* to be blown away!

Now my fifth Shields book may well be the so-called ‘companion’ to this one, Small Ceremonies, or any of her books that come my way :-)

Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Friday, June 30, 2006
Reserved for MrsDanvers next time I see her, or to post.

I'm glad this is going to someone I know, as I like Carol Shield's writing, and its always nice to share and get other opinions...as wild releasing is very hit and miss!

RELEASE NOTES:

Passing on to MrsDanvers at or before the Ipswich meet-up, probably

STOP - didn't make if from the Caffe Nero manager to Liz, not sure where it ended up!

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