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The Lightning Field
Set against the backdrop of Cold War Toronto, The Lightning Field follows the lives of Peter and Lucy Jacobs from their post-war courtship through marriage and child-rearing in the suburbs. Though spanning four decades, the book pivots on the events of a single day: October 4, 1957. On this day, the Russians launch Sputnik into orbit, the Avro Arrow--the most advanced jet ...more
Paperback, 269 pages
Published October 2011 by Gaspereau Pess
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The protagonist, when not swept along by the milestones of suburban life: home, child raising, unfulfilling work, is alone again with the anticipation for life to begin. The dissonance between childhood expectation and reality, which at times veers into the full-blown disappointment of adulthood, is lingering. The author has lovingly created her characters. This is what is interesting, but at times it seems their fates have been predetermined in a way that is detached from the plot and lacks sur ...more
Heather Jessup's debut novel The Lightning Field tells the story of a family that is both ordinary and extraordinary. Set mainly in the Malton suburb of Toronto, the novel chronicles a decade and a half in the life of Peter and Lucy Jacobs and their three children, Kier, Andy and Rose, during the height of the Cold War. Peter is an aeronautic engineer hired after the war to work on defense projects that culminate in the development of the Avro Arrow aircraft. The day of the Arrow's unveiling, Oc ...more
This started out so promisingly. First, the book itself: a soft cover with a heavy-weight dust jacket – quite different. Then, the location and time period: 1950s Malton (a suburb of Toronto). Then the fact that the male protagonist is designing the Avro Arrow, a controversial piece of Canadian history. PLUS – the writing is clear and engaging. But after the build-up to the Avro’s introduction and the female protagonist being hit by lightning, the plot just seems to disintegrate.
Read this if: yo ...more
Read this if: yo ...more
What a beautiful book, you can tell when you're holding a Gaspereau Press book. Heather Jessup's writing is luscious and lyrical and although I felt let down by the plot I was very satisfied with my reading experience. I'm unfortunately sometimes not the most committed reader and find myself not always finishing books I've started. But The Lightning Field had me going and hoping for good things for the characters that I met. I actually gasped out loud towards the end and am still unsure whether ...more