Sometimes you pick something up without knowing much about it, and this is the case here. I will however tell you right away (in the interests of tranSometimes you pick something up without knowing much about it, and this is the case here. I will however tell you right away (in the interests of transparency) that I have a nodding Twitter acquaintance with Ms Leduc, who lives in my city. Local literary circles are really not that big, and you kinda get to know who the players are.
So based on that, and the fact that I like supporting local artists (can't let you NYers have all the fun of discovering the hot new talent), I picked up "The Miracles of Ordinary Men". A local writer, from a local publisher, in a local independently owned bookshop. It's not my usual thing. I don't care for overt christian symbolism in my fiction. Dual narratives I'm on record for being whiny about. I could give you a fistful of reasons why I shouldn't have liked this novel. And yet, I did.
Leduc's prose flows like a summertime creek, burbling along, in no hurry to get where it's going. The dialog is realistic and most of her characters are anchored and believable, a must for a piece like this, which is so open and airy that only the characters themselves give it weight.
We explore redemption in this thought-provoking piece, as the characters struggle with both becoming and unbecoming, with life, death, and metamorphosis. The author also manages to keep a curtain drawn on her personal beliefs, remaining ambiguous right to the last word. We are left knowing change has happened, but it is modestly left to the reader to decide where we have gone.
All in all it's a worthwhile read, but with some warnings. There is violence used in a sexual context, which may be upsetting to some readers, for various reasons. And the entire work is built on a framework of christian symbolism, so those who are uncomfortable with that will probably not find this enjoyable. Those who enjoy philosophy, armchair musing on the nature of mankind, or christian themes (minus the dogma) will find a rich platter of food for thought in this novel.
The first chapter all but had me sobbing, and unfortunately it slowly declined from there. Ending is thoroughly anticlimactic. Not bad, but not as greThe first chapter all but had me sobbing, and unfortunately it slowly declined from there. Ending is thoroughly anticlimactic. Not bad, but not as great as I expected considering the amount id heard about this one. ...more