Ruthiella's Reviews > The Watch that Ends the Night

The Watch that Ends the Night by Hugh MacLennan
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's review
Jul 27, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011

This book reminded me of Hemingway or Graham Greene novels with its motif of the lost generation and its ruminations on faith, loss and redemption. I have read “The Good Soldier”, but this book is possibly the saddest story I have ever read. The narrator, George Stewart, is middle aged, mildly successful; a devoted step-father contentedly married to the love of his life in 1950’s Montreal. However, because of a variety of factors, including his upbringing by loving but ineffectual parents, his youth spent during the Depression, and his wife Catherine’s illness, George has never felt secure. As the book opens, any sort of balance George has achieved is fatefully upended by the reemergence of Catherine’s first husband and his former best friend, who was declared dead 12 years before. Canada, in particular Montreal, and its changing seasons provide a descriptive background. Though the dialog is sometimes stiff and dated, this was a beautiful book.

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