Sointula by Bill Gaston

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Summoned to the deathbed of a long-ago lover, Evelyn is overcome by emotion. Off her medications, she impulsively steals a kayak and embarks on a quest that takes her deep into the Canadian wilderness in order to find her lost son, Tom. On the way to Sointula, a remote fishing village off Vancouver Island, she gains a traveling companion, Peter Gore, a writer working on the quintessential book on the region. Stymied by illness, writer's block, and whiskey, Peter makes an unlikely and unreliable shipmate and paramour. Tom, the survivor of a gunshot wound that slowed his speech and his drug-dealing, finds solace in his isolated life, collecting data for a whale researcher. As Evelyn and Peter approach, Tom waits for the whales' irregular visits to the water's edge. Like the novels of David Malouf and Jonathan Raban, Sointula is a celebration of place, a novel where the landscape comes as fully alive as its memorable characters.

About Bill Gaston

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Gaston is a novelist, short story writer, poet, and screenwriter.
Published August 1, 2004 by Raincoast Books. 380 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Characterizations of Evelyn and Peter are particularly rich and searching (when they talk about sex, the book reaches irresistible comic heights), and the resolution of their quests, in an extended dénouement comprising one brilliant scene after another, is virtually beyond praise.

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