The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The story opens with a description of Quoyle, the ultimate loser. He's big, ugly, married to a woman who sleeps with whoever she can, often at home, treated like dirt and doesn't protest, father to two girls. One thing - he loves with passion and great loyalty. With the loss of Petal (his wife) and the entry of his Aunt the story shifts as they move to Newfoundland. Over the course of time we see the characters start to flourish. A really beautiful story, I must admit I'm a sucker for seeing the bad redeemed and second chances grasped. About two thirds of the way through the story there is this line "Thirty -six years old and this was the first time anybody ever said he'd done it right". It made me pause and think about the influence we can have on others for good and bad.
I loved the writing some of the descriptions are just fabulous and bring the story to life. It's not a page turner but is a book you can sink in to savour slowly. Highly recommended.