Gayle's Reviews > On Canaan's Side

On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry
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Feb 06, 12

Read in February, 2012


Not since Jesmyn Ward's SALVAGE THE BONES, has a book floored me like ON CANAAN'S SIDE by Sebastian Barry.
In approximately 250 pages, you get the life story of Lily, who is 89 years old and recording in her journal before she ends her life. Her beloved grandson is dead and she feels no reason to go on.
This book is a rare jewel covering: immigration and a deep love for her new country, the cruelty of wars, one right after the other, race issues (though Lily herself has no hangups.)
The writing seems almost poetic, truly a literary masterpiece. Throughout all that happens in Lily's life, she seems to remain calm and finds joy in small, everyday things. A couple of times I had to go back to see how I had missed some small clue as to what was coming.
Please, for your own sake, read this book.
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