Pamela's Reviews > Echolocation

Echolocation by Myfanwy Collins
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it was amazing

This short novel is, unusually, centered on a quartet of women: Geneva and Cheri, two foster children; Marie, the woman who takes them in; and Renee, Cheri’s mother, a good-time girl who justifies her abandonment of Cheri by deciding the girl is better off with out her (she may be right). There are men in this tale, but their stories seem refreshingly tangential even as their impulsive actions shape the women’s lives. These are women who need men, sometimes to excess, and yet who never allow men to be their destinies.

The death of Marie, when Geneva and Cheri are in their twenties, launches the narrative, which builds to a dramatic confrontation in the remote town on the Canadian-U.S. border where Marie tried, against the odds, to build an orderly existence for those she loved.

There’s really a fifth female here: an infant who comes into the story in a surprising way and who embodies both the hope that these rough-ridden women are still capable of and the fragility of love in their world. In fact, I’ll add a sixth: Nature. Myfanwy Collins is masterful at evoking landscape, particularly the harsh winter landscape of way-upstate New York. This novel’s emotional and physical weather are much the same: scouring, unpredictable, and dangerous. Echolocation casts a spell and leaves you shaken.
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Myfanwy Pamela, Your beautiful review took my breath away. Thank you so much for reading and FEELING my book. I'm beside myself with joy. Thank you!


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