Sunday, June 1, 2014

Review: Next Life Might be Kinder

Next Life Might Be KinderNext Life Might Be Kinder by Howard Norman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found the ending of this book unsatisfactory. It didn't feel like a conclusion so much as just a stop. Aside from that I thought the book was well written and the story was compelling. The story is set in Nova Scotia (Halifax and in a beach community an hour away) and the narrative switches back and forth between the present and about a year previous.
One of the characters in the novel is a librarian whom I found charming. I am often very annoyed by the way librarians are depicted in books, but this one was good. Here is how she describes her life:
"Born in Anglo Tignish, Prince Edward Island. My mother and father were living there for a few years. But I grew up mostly in Kentville. Up through high school. Then off to study library science in Montreal. Then an early marriage. Then an early end to it. Ha-ha! Then assistant libraran in Bridgewater. Then fed up with Bridgewater. Then searched the job listings and up popped Port Medway." (p.174)
On the next page she quotes Robertson Davies so I had to like her.

Norman is an American, but he wrote with great affection about Maritime Canada and there was a lot of scenery (and birds) described in some detail. I hadn't read anything by him before, but would definitely read more of his work.

This book counts toward the Canadian Book Challenge 7.

1 comment:

  1. As an American, Howard Norman must have spent some time in NS...I've never seen the small towns of Kentville and Bridgewater mentioned in a book before. Almost makes me homesick ;)


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