This took me awhile to get through. Truthfully, I still don't know if I have it all sorted out which is, I think, rather true the progression of the nThis took me awhile to get through. Truthfully, I still don't know if I have it all sorted out which is, I think, rather true the progression of the narrative anyway.
It is a story about Donal Keneally, a god-like figure and his colony, the Revelations Colony of Truth, somewhere on Vancouver Island. It is also a story about Maggie Kyle, in many ways Keneally's opposite. She inhabits the colony after it has been abandoned and cares for the many of the people who have been abandoned with it.
The narrative is a strange, convoluted thing. It is told from several view points so as to expose the truth behind the narrative in as many different lights as possible. It dwells on the interplay between myth and truth. Both Keneally and Maggie Kyle tell a self-narrative that has mythic qualities. The degree to which outsiders deconstruct or participate in building the myths is much of the novel's preoccupation.
I can perceive that there is a degree of technical achievement here, but I can't say I actually enjoyed the novel. I appreciate the skill in constructing the narrative. There were also moments were the descriptions of the coastal landscape struck me as particularly poignant, but I am a coastal girl myself so I like to see my home painted well. This novel is, however, work to read and work to sort out. This is not a bad thing, but it requires patience and didn't endear the story to me....more
Not a bad YA story. I thought it was refreshing. The traditionally acquired super powers (tragic chemical spill) were kind of a nice break from vampirNot a bad YA story. I thought it was refreshing. The traditionally acquired super powers (tragic chemical spill) were kind of a nice break from vampires and werewolves. Jamie was a likable lead, whose teen angst (complicated by those super powers of course) was believable but not overwrought. I found the first half of the story to be stronger than the second. The ins and outs of the various villains as well as the rather tiresome preoccupation with disproving and then proving the worth of having a particular set of characters as friends made the close of the book suffer. It was an entertaining and mostly lighthearted story so it can mostly be forgiven. The friendship and not-fitting-in tropes are, afterall, tried and true ingredients to an super hero story....more
This is another one of those ones for class. I wouldn't have picked it up on my own. It is certainly chock full of information about society at the tiThis is another one of those ones for class. I wouldn't have picked it up on my own. It is certainly chock full of information about society at the time. It dragged in parts and my interest flagged over the sheer amount of detail the author provided about the day to day lives of his characters. I did however finish better informed? I do admire the effort of the author to build out lives for people out of historical fact (a lot of facts). It is a valuable too for a history class but it would not be easy on the casual reader....more
The fluidity of the narrative was gorgeous. It had me in awe at moments. It was heavy material at times, but I expected no less. It is knowledge worthThe fluidity of the narrative was gorgeous. It had me in awe at moments. It was heavy material at times, but I expected no less. It is knowledge worth having and a perspctive worth hearing. What I really valued were the moments of almost heart-breaking linguistic beauty. I'd read it again just for those moments....more
Beautifully done. It is the flawed, entirely human characters of The Descendants traveling through their grief together that make this an absorbing reBeautifully done. It is the flawed, entirely human characters of The Descendants traveling through their grief together that make this an absorbing read. I read it all in one sitting, more or less. Their exploration of what it means to be family and what it means to love felt honest, sincere and true. The moment where Matt King is finally able to say goodbye to his wife, forgiving her and putting her to rest was as beautifully done as it was tragic. Kaui Hart Hemmings shows us that love is neither easy or all that beautiful sometimes and yet it persists, even beyond death itself....more
Full disclosure. I read this for a class. I probably never would have picked it up on my own. I think its purpose is likely mostly as a class text. ItFull disclosure. I read this for a class. I probably never would have picked it up on my own. I think its purpose is likely mostly as a class text. It fulfills this purpose well. It primarily summarizes past scholarship on New France and is at times critical of some of the opinions and views held by those authors. I found the introduction and first chapter or two deadoring but it picked up fom there with some sketches of life at the time as well as some summaries of first hand accounts, most often of visitors to the colony. There is very little source material included from actual Canadians, those born or raised in the colony. Perhaps they were few and far between because of literary rates at e time? Perhaps Greer found the accounts of outsiders better framework for an reading audience that is similarities new to New France? I did miss them though, a genuine account from settlers themselves. Similarly Greer tries to include more information about aboriginal people than is perhaps has been traditionally found in these histories . In general he also tends to try and be less Eurocentric and enthnocentric in his accounts of the relationship between the French and aboriginal peoples. He does have some insightful comments about the paternalistic and ethnocentric worldview of the French and how this impacted diplomatic relationships as well as everyday life. There isn't however an aboriginal perspective in this book. It is still very much a settler history, but I also think it wasn't really trying robe anything else. All in all, Greerstrikes a ice balance inhis writing style between numbers and facts, first hand accounts, and imagined circumstances. Not a bad text book, but a text book all the same....more