Path to Ardroe, The by John Lent

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...the two halves of the book are mirror images, and in its closing moments, Peter encounters his true self, which is his own reflection.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

The Path to Ardroe is an exploration of friendship and its limits, life changes, and the challenges and aspirations of writers. Peter Chisholm wrestles with his craft just as his writer friend Rick Connelly does; so too does the novice Melissa, the daughter of their friends Ronnie and Carol. Trapped by his own deceptions, Peter finds himself at forty-two without direction and so it seemed an eerie coincidence to him that unplanned events had conspired to place him in Lochinver, Scotland, developing his next novel and seeking out his former lover. He has gone there to seek a solution to his restlessness and his self-imposed fakery, but he has no idea of the fearful ghosts he will conjure. In various states of introspection Peter’s friends are also coming to terms with their own life-changing moments. For emerging writer Melissa Picard, on a six-month trip to Strasbourg, France, it will be her struggle with the past criticisms of her writing. Through a budding friendship with a celebrated writer and a transformative affair with an artist, she begins to understand that her challenges are not unique, and that to write with a simple purity, the way Derain painted, she must finally listen to her own voice. Rick Connelly is also at a creative crossroads of self and meaning. Struggling with the control of his writing voice and intently floundering in his need to show what his father meant to him, he seeks the solitude of nature to reshape his instincts about himself and the life path he has chosen. Finally there is Tania, who lost her mother too young and whose immigrant roots shape her in ways that she is only beginning to understand. Faced with her own immanent death from pancreatic cancer, she is stripping her life bare of all pretense while taking stock of the people and events who have made her who she really is. But it will be Peter Chisholm at the novel’s end, who in a profound epiphany, will discover the fulcrum that balances private compromises with the artistic quandaries of the literary life, and it will not be the revelation he assumed.
 

About John Lent

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John Lent has read his from his work in France, England and the USA, and has given Canada Council Readings of his work across Canada over the past twenty-five years, most recently in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria. Lent has taught Creative Writing and Literature at various institutions in this country for the past forty years, and has, most recently, taught at The Sage Hill Writing Experience and The Victoria School of Writing. He has been writer in residence at Red Deer College and a resident writer at The Wallace Stegner House and The Leighton Artists Colony at The Banff Centre For The Arts. His most recent novel, The Path To Ardroe, is a novel that has taken over a decade to write and surfaces from experiences Lent had living in Strasbourg, France, in 1988, and Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1995. Lent has published six books of poetry, most recently Cantilevered Songs(Thistledown 2009); three books of fiction including So It Won’t Go Away(Thistledown 2005), Monet’s Garden(Thistledown 1996), and The Face in the Garden(Thistledown 1990); and one book of non-fiction (with Robert Kroetsch).
 
Published March 31, 2012 by Thistledown Press. 342 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Path to Ardroe, The
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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Steven W. Beattie on Aug 03 2012

...the two halves of the book are mirror images, and in its closing moments, Peter encounters his true self, which is his own reflection.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Steven W. Beattie on Aug 03 2012

In this instance, at least, the marriage of style and substance in Lent’s novel is indeed complete and inextricable: the two halves of the book are mirror images, and in its closing moments, Peter encounters his true self, which is his own reflection.

Read Full Review of Path to Ardroe, The | See more reviews from National Post arts

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