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3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  33 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
A Globe and Mail Notable Book of the Year

Sonny Aalto, a restless middle-aged businessman, has spent his life running away from those closest to him. When his estranged, larger-than-life father, Timo, becomes too sick to care for himself, Sonny reluctantly returns to his childhood home of Vancouver Island, where he learns his father is not only dying but wants to die on his
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published September 23rd 2003 by McClelland & Stewart
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(showing 1-30 of 66)
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Aug 11, 2011 Lorraine rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own-it, canadian, zz2011
This book tries to do a lot, but I think it does not quite make it. I love all the plant references, those the first quarter of the book is where these references are most prevalent. The voyage to Australia seems a little bit gimmicky, but maybe the author needed a place that could support the flood scene in a believably way. The Australia section made the book seem more "epic" than it is.

There were times the narrative jumped or swerved so quickly I had to re-read to figure out what was going o
Tricia Dower
3.5 stars, really. I enjoyed the trip to Australia and the opportunity to experience raw, dry heat through words alone. The bigger reward in this book is the evolution of the relationship between a dying father and his grown son. I wondered if this book had served as inspiration for Richard Wagamese's Medicine Walk as both feature a dying father asking his estranged son to take him on a particular journey so he can die on his own terms.
Aug 09, 2011 Gordon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
Much better than I expected for what is (to me, anyway) a "local" author. Everything about this story was alive to me; although none of the characters specifically resemble anyone I know, again and again it felt like I was reliving real conversations. Are there any lessons in this story? I don't know. But I have a hunch I will keep coming back to find out.
Gillian Hamstra
a good portion of this book takes place on Vancouver Island. It's always fun when the story is in your back yard. his is a father and son story. well written. good book.
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Novelist and short story writer Jack Hodgins lives on Vancouver Island where until recently he taught fiction writing at the University of Victoria. Raised in the small rural community of Merville in the Comox Valley, he graduated with a B.Ed from the University of British Columbia, and taught high school in Nanaimo between 1961 and 1981. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa bet ...more
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