A Map of Glass
2 journalers for this copy...
Urquhart's passion for the past (The Stone Carvers) and the land (The Underpainters, winner of the Governor General's Award in Canada) are at full poetic play in this intricate story of love, loss and memory. Set in present-day Toronto and in the 19th-century world of rural Ontario timber barons, it opens with the wintry death of Alzheimer's sufferer Andrew, whose body, borne by an ice floe, runs aground on the small Lake Ontario island where artist Jerome McNaughton is seeking inspiration. The story steps back a century, to when Andrew's ancestors, owners of the same island, razed forests to build ships, then it jumps forward a year from the opening scene of Andrew's death, to when Sylvia, Andrew's married lover of 20 years, sets out to meet with Jerome, who discovered Andrew's body, and, through Jerome, to reconnect one last time with Andrew. Meanwhile, Jerome, the relationship-shy adult child of an abusive, alcoholic father, is slowly coming to trust that girlfriend Mira's love for him is real. Urquhart reveals all of their haunted personal histories in the lyrical first and third parts of the novel. But it's in the compact family-saga middle, where a slew of Andrew's memorable forebears take the stage, that this novel's luminous heart truly lies.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Sent to Ibis3 as a RABCK (in exchange for participation in a possible future bookring on this book!). Enjoy ... and thanks for helping my book gather friends, not dust! :)
This is my review:
I have a bit of a mixed reaction to this book. Sometimes I really liked it, sometimes I didn't. I'm afraid I didn't really care much for any of the characters. The women were all a bit melodramatic or weak, or both (except for Mira who didn't get much development and Julia who got no actual screen time). The men were all a bit insufferable. I did enjoy the basic setup and the two parallel stories, but was disappointed by the meaninglessness of it all. The descriptions of Timber Island and the lake were wonderful, and there were elements that I found interesting and intriguing, so the journey, so to speak, was enjoyable as far as it went. However, I was waiting for something big to happen, but in the end, it was just more relentlessness of time.