The Winter Vault
From the author of the acclaimed Fugitive Pieces, her first work of fiction in more than a decade: a mesmerizing love story that juxtaposes historical events with the most intimate moments of individual lives.
In 1964, a newly married Canadian couple settle into a houseboat on the Nile just below Abu Simbel. Avery is one of the engineers responsible for the dismantling and
"Dusk in Owen's bedroom, ...more
The crazy thing was that I was reading it for no better reason than that I picked it up from my bedside table before heading out on a trip. Then I found myself sitting in a presentation in a hotel ballroom where a tidy well dressed speaker told of how a village and its inhabitants would be displaced by a mining operation and how the technology he was demonstrating would predict the costs of relocation and burden of disease before and after for the population. Why weird? Be ...more
How can you not love a book that starts with"
"Perhaps we painted on our own skin, with ochre and charcoal, long before we painted on stone." ...more
This book was chosen--a little to my dismay, I admit (something about the title!)--by my more 'literary' bookclub. I read it slowly, trying to do so with an open mind. In the end, however, I was left feeling the same way I felt when i began: these novels are a perfect example of all the problems in so-called 'literary novels' and in so many novels written by authors who are first and foremost poet ...more
To me, a good book is one which must always be engaging. A great book is one which challenges how I perceive things, offers alternative perspectives and raises my awareness of Issue(s) either new or revisited.
The author wrote factually in a lyrical style. No mean feat.
The following is an excerpt by way of an exa ...more
All the elements of her first work are present in The Winter Vault: the poetic and intricate writing; the historical and geological research; characters that dwell in a philosophical cosmos beyond that of th ...more
Hardback Edition. Bloomsbury 2009.
Prologue. A very poetic introduction - but essentially meaningless. Well - wait a minute - it may not be meaningless, but when a poet writes, it can be very difficult to get inside the mind of the poet. For example, many years ago, ...more
It's just one of those things, you know. The writing is beautiful, so many poignant turns of phrase I couldn't possibly list them all. The love story was also beautiful, the longing between Jean and Avery so palpable I almost couldn't bear it when they separated. Loss, love, retribution, tragedy, beauty within tragedy ... this novel has it all.
And I can't figure out why I didn't enjoy it more.
Maybe it was just too much. As isolated sentences, the book is unique in its truth. But throw all th ...more
I have 16 post it notes attached f ...more
These themes are echoed in their perso ...more
By the time I was listening to the second segment of the audiobook, I was still stranded in a documentary. Although I believe one of the characters was named Avery, there was nary a sign of a plot in sight.
I understand that people were displaced. I understand that building the dam ended the spring silt de ...more
Anne Michaels was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1958. She is the author of one novel Fugitive Pieces, which explores the possibility of love and faith alter the Holocaust, with language marked by power, elegance, and integrity. Ms. Michaels, who has also composed musical scores for the theater, has said "when you put a tremendous amount of love into your work, as in any r ...more
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Even that night, the night he touched one inch of her in the dark, how simply Avery seemed to accept the facts - that they were on the edge of lifelong happiness and, therefore, inescapable sorrow. It was as if, long ago, a part of him had broken off inside, and now finally, he recognised the dangerous fragment that had been floating in his system, causing him intermittent pain over the years. As if he could now say of that ache: "Ah. It was you.”