metro mama

Friday, July 28, 2006

Metro Mama Reviews: The Time In Between

There was little time between when I started this book and when I finished it. It was hard to put down.

The Time in Between, written by David Bergen and winner of the Giller Prize, explores the lasting and far-reaching effects of war, the father-daughter relationship, and the complexity of psychological pain. Set in Vietnam, the book is also a travelogue, with vivid descriptions of the landscape and customs of the country.

Charles Boatman, widower and Vietnam vet, has raised his three children in a renovated caboose on a mountain in BC. Haunted by his memories of Vietnam, he sees a psychologist, who isn’t able to help him. When a fellow vet sends him a book about the war, written by a Vietnamese soldier, the connection he feels to the soldier in the story is a catalyst that sends him back to Vietnam to try to exorcise his demons.

When Charles disappears in Vietnam, two of his children, Jon and Ada, journey there to look for him. Ada retraces her father’s steps to try to understand what led him back to Vietnam.

Bergen’s prose is engrossing and succinct. He explores difficult issues with clarity and depth without offering any easy answers.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author—he’s written three other novels and a collection of short stories. His most recent novel, The Case of Lena S., was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. He’s a Canadian and lives in Winnipeg.

I’ll definitely be reading more.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous mamatulip said...

This sounds very good -- and not like anything I've ever read before. I'm putting it on my list.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Mother Bumper said...

wicked. I just got a 100 gift cert for Indigo and now I have another book to add to my list.

BTW - congrats on the end of school. I'm sure you aced the fucker. Enjoy the next few weeks - you deserve it :)

9:47 AM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Great review...I may pick it up for some vacation reading for next week. THanks!

10:16 AM  
Anonymous krista said...

How's then pace? It sounds like it's worth picking up. Thanks. I'm "inbetween" books right now, I'm considering it.

2:21 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

i will definitely add this to the list. thanks for the reco!

9:47 PM  
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2:03 AM  

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