Friday, November 2, 2007

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

Title: Crow Lake
Author: Mary Lawson
ISBN: 0385337639
Publisher: Delta Trade Paperbacks
Pages: 291
Genre: Fiction

I won this book from Framed and Booked in a book giveaway for BAFAB week. I had no idea of what kind of book it would turn out to be. As soon as I received it, the back cover interested me so much that I started reading it right away. I finished it around midnight. It kept me engrossed and I did not want to keep waiting to finish it.

The story begins with Kate Morrison. She is narrating it for us right from when she was six years old. She has two elder brothers, Luke who is nineteen and Matt who is seventeen. They have a baby sister Bo, who is eighteen months old. Right in the beginning, we see the children losing their parents in a car accident. Luke who had never cared much for his siblings gives up on his dream of becoming a teacher and brings up the younger kids with the help of his brother. Matt has always been interested to go to the University but due to some reason I need not elaborate here, he can’t. Kate follows Matt’s dream. She ends up becoming a zoologist.

This novel is set in the wild terrain of Ontario. Here heartbreak and hardship go hand in hand. The story of the Morrisons is tied up with the Pye family. The Pyes are a cursed lot where the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons. On the centre stage are the Morrisons undergoing tragedy but it is not brutal. In a way, it binds them together.

We see Kate saddened by the fact that Matt could not pursue his dreams. She shuts him from her world completely thinking it would only pain him to see her going for what he had coveted most. Kate has many misconceptions regarding her brother Matt, although he is one person she loved most in this world. No one could measure upto him. When she leaves for University, she shuts him out giving up the closeness they had shared while they were younger.

I liked reading this very much. The Morrison children are very close to each other. The bonding is palpable. They seldom show their love for each other, but are very caring. They do not want to lose each other by being apart from each other. That part appealed to me. I am very close to my siblings. I share a wonderful rapport with my brothers. May be that is why I liked the book. Family love...that is what is underlying in this novel. Finally, we see Kate coming into terms with herself and her family.

Mary Lawson can weave words very well. This book is worth reading at least once. In no way this book is depressing. It has humour going for it even in the face of adversity. The love shines through despite the bubbling arguments.

2002: winner, Books in Canada First Novel Award