Joshua Finnell's Reviews > Canada

Canada by Richard Ford
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's review
Nov 12, 2011

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bookshelves: fiction, library-journal-review
Read from November 12 to 26, 2011

Library Journal Review:

Since winning the Pulitzer Prize for his 1995 novel, Independence Day, Ford has cultivated a reputation for writing lucid and compelling prose. Here, he lives up to that reputation. The story unfolds around 15-year-old Dell Parsons, whose world collapses when his parents are jailed for a bank robbery, his twin sister flees, and he is transported across the border by a family friend to an obscure town in Canada. With detailed descriptions of place, Ford connects Dell's feelings of abandonment with the equally desolate setting of a remote Canadian landscape. The novel is pervaded by a profound sense of loss—of connectedness, of familiarity, of family—set against a profound sense of discovery. By piecing together the random events in his life, Dell transcends the borders within himself to find a philosophy of life that is both fluid and cohesive. VERDICT Segmented into three parts, the narrative slowly builds into a gripping commentary on life's biggest question: Why are we here? Ford's latest work successfully expands our understanding of and sympathy for humankind.—Joshua Finnell, Denison Univ. Lib., Granville, OH

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