Monday, October 25, 2010

What is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman

What is Left the Daughter is told by Wyatt through a letter to the daughter he hasn't seen since she was a baby. He writes to confess his reasons for being absent in her life. Most of his story takes place in Nova Scotia in 1942, during WWII. Wyatt's parents both die on the same day in bizarre identical suicides when he is a teenager, and Wyatt goes to live with his aunt, uncle, and the "cousin" he falls in love with. Don't worry, none of that is spoiler information. You can find it on the book flap. The main conflict in the story comes when a German immigrant arrives in town, a love triangle begins, and a family is torn apart.

I enjoyed reading about this history from the Canadian point of view. The author shows how regular people can respond to situations and other people in such surprising and often brutal ways when they are living through extraordinary conditions such as war. I thought the characters were well developed and felt real, and the style of the book was perfect for the story. One criticism that I would have is that the story seemed to end before the book did. The ending kind of puttered along for a bit. Overall I thought it was very good, and I would recommend this to anyone who likes reading about WWII. 4/5

1 comment:

TheBookGirl said...

This sounds like quite an unusual story Christine...glad to see that you enjoyed it.