The New York Times Book Review just ran my review of Marcel Theroux’s Far North. It’s a really interesting novel that has some flaws, but it’s one of the few novels I’ve read this year that stuck with me, and the main character is a miraculous creation.
Doing work for the NYTBR was a very pleasant experience–in fact, the review passed through the editing process with no real changes and I should have another assignment soonish.
Here’s a short excerpt:
The harrowing account of Makepeaceâ€™s journey to the work camp has the full weight and context of 20th-century history behind it. But when she reaches the camp, personal revelations again dominate. Transferred from hard labor to garden work, Makepeace is unable to bear â€œthe ghost of what might have beenâ€ and is â€œmired in the shame of what Iâ€™d become.â€ If shackles can break you when youâ€™ve suffered, then small pleasures, like gardening, can also break you â€” by making you foolishly believe you have a chance at normal life.