As far as goals go I’ve seen this DapperDame Reads thing through a full 20%. Unfortunately I’ve used up more than 20% of my time meaning the pace will have to be less leisurely to be ready for the February 11th deadline. That’s a book a week. Good thing my only responsibilities outside of work include not becoming grotesquely overweight and not living in filth because I’m not a speed reader by any means. Enough fiddle-farting around, let’s review this book!
February by Lisa Moore
This is not the type of novel where you can’t put down but it is one you can look forward to picking up. It isn’t a novel about things happening it is a novel about time passing and people growing with that time or forgetting to grow with the time. The story is based around the Ocean Ranger disaster in February 1982 off the coast of Newfoundland when an offshore oil rig sank and took all 84 crew members with it. We learn that Helen’s husband Cal, 31 at the time, and – although unbeknownst to him – about to be a father to their 4th child, would not be coming home from his shift.
The novel doesn’t so much follow the story of this family; it takes snapshots of Helen’s grief jumping between memories of times with Cal, memories of times without Cal and the present where Helen, age 56, is finally letting herself grow apart from Cal. We see all of these moments of her life relative to the loss she experienced. The reader gets to watch as she begins to see for the first time that she has grown apart from her deceased husband – and that her life continues to move along whether she holds her head above the water or not.
“Life barrels through; it is gone. Something rushes through. The front door slams and then a door slams in the back; something burns on the stove; birthdays, brides and caskets; babies, bankruptcy, huge strokes of luck, the trees full of ice; gone. She touches her necklace. All gone.”
The undercurrent pulls along Helen’s son John as he decides whether or not to risk letting himself be vulnerable and depended upon.
Read this book if you enjoy reading people and reading lives. Moore has a gift for writing the little moments and having them add up to a lifetime.
Up Next: Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan