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Sherri Vanderveen
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3.33  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  13 reviews
What happens when a father disappears? How are the empty spaces of an absence filled?

In 1979, Otto Sinclair flees in the wake of a tragic fire, leaving his family to sort through the ashes. Twenty-eight years later, he comes back to them: his wife Lenore, a kept woman in mourning with a box of memories in the trunk of her car; his daughter Ruby, who peoples her world with
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Penguin Canada
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Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bonnie by: Sherri Vanderveen
4 stars

Sherri Vanderveen is a gutsy writer. In her debut novel (Belle Falls), she tackled a difficult subject. In Absent, her second novel, it’s the structure of the novel itself that is the more bold performance. The way she moves from present to past, to past to present, abruptly at times – like a balancing act on a high wire – she makes the reader work to figure things out. At first, that can be difficult, but eventually, with Vanderveen’s skill – like a confident tightrope walker – no need
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a good story. I was drawn to the book by it's cover and by the title. Otto is a husband and father who one day disappears from his family's lives. He is a rather pathetic character with little self esteem and what little he has, shatters when he can't get a job to support his family and discovers his wife is having an affair with her boss. So, he runs away after he sets the piano in the house on fire, not meaning to harm anyone, but to symbolize his frustration with his unhappy childhood ...more
Rosemary Walton
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
so sorry to finish this book - I loved it! The characters are incredibly human and sympathetic - although most are fairly unlike-able. The story is absolutely absorbing and unique with a nice psychological twist to it. A must read.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family-issues, mra
A fictional account of Father Absence. I wanted to see if it resonated with research done on the topic. Mostly it did not. Still thought it was an important topic to explore.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Way too many fathers who die young or are otherwise absent - were there no good fathers in this world? Disappointing
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so beautiful and utterly magnificent.

I have written a full review of it on my book blog.

I will recommend this book to everyone. This gets an unreserved five stars.

Bonnie Sturm
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Again an excellent read, I love this author and so does my sister who first gave me her Belle Falls book, we need her to write another one
I liked this book because the story was sweet and sometimes made me angry and then the next minute made me cry and I liked the ending
Christine H
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemp-lit
Really tried to finish this book, but only managed to get through one-third of it. Plot seemed interesting enough, but the writing dragged in various places. Went back to it after a few months, and encountered the same obstacle.
Sheri Ward
Sep 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
started off great. but lost momentum along the way. I found it a bit disjointed...didn't really grab me.
Denny Broza
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it
took a long time
to finish, so not very intriguing, bounced back and forth from past to present.
I reviewed this book. Sometimes, not very often, I fall for a book I've had to read for work. This is one of those books.
Allegra S
May 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was not very good... the characters were stale and the plot was stagnant. I was very mislead by the intriguing description on the back.
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
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Sherri Vanderveen’s short works of fiction have appeared in several Canadian literary journals. Belle Falls, her first novel, was published in March 2007 by Penguin Canada. Her second, Absent, was published in February 2009. She currently lives in Toronto with her family.

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