January 23, 2010

Galore - Michael Crummey

This book first crossed by radar when I read an interview with the author over on The Book Mine Set. Then a little while later, I heard him interviewed on the radio by Shelagh Rogers. The story grabbed me enough that I figured that I would give it a try.

I have to confess that it took me a while to get into this book, but once I did, I loved it. The slowness is probably my own fault - starting it in the middle of the Christmas holidays rush, while reading another book at the same time. It took me about 3 weeks to read the first 1/3 of the book, and then 3 days to read the last 2/3!

The book is basically a family saga - 6 generations of 2 families whose members are either feuding or marrying each other in rural Newfoundland in the 1800s. Thank goodness for the family tree at the front of the book!

It took me a while to get into the rhythm of the storytelling. It almost seems like a transcription of one long session with a storyteller of the oral tradition. The plot doesn't follow a straightforward A to B path; rather it jumps around as one story reminds the teller of another, but then goes back to give more details from the original story, and then on to another story. Back and forth in time, but all of the pieces fit together in the end. That is probably why I liked Part 2 of the book better than Part 1 - it was easier to follow when reading the book in one sitting rather then a few pages at a time.

The characters (in every sense of the word!) were quite vividly drawn, and if they stick with me as much as I think they will, I will probably go back and re-read this book sooner rather than later.

And as this is book #13 for me in The Canadian Book Challenge, I am now officially done, 5 months early! Not that I'm planning to stop reading Canadian books, or anything...


Wanda said...

Galore is tucked away in my bureau, I have a few more to finish before I can linger over this one. Have you read his earlier novels? The Wreckage was my favourite read of 2008 and The River Thieves was a satisfying read as well.

Congrats on "officially" finishing the 3rd Canadian Book Challenge! I'll look for your reviews as you keep going and going and going ...

Kate said...

No - I've not read anything else by Michael Crummey. I may need to look some of his other books up. But don't linger over Galore - read it in one fell swoop!