{party at the old folks’}

In an unprecendented but fairly predictable turn of events, I have done a ton of reading lately and no blogging. So I will be playing catch-up for the next few posts.

I started On Canaan’s Side back in November, but then with the move to the Bay Area, had to relinquish it unfinished back to the Eugene library. I found it again earlier this month, and finished it.

Lilly Bere immigrated to the United States shortly after the First World War, fleeing an Ireland torn apart by its War of Independence. Moving around between Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and New York, Lilly’s life story is a narrative of the American twentieth century, and all the promise and heartbreak it brought with it.

Two things I loved:

  • The historical background and detail, spanning two countries and several decades. Because I’m a nerd.
  • The variety of characters. Lilly’s relationships throughout her life span rich, poor, black, white, American, immigrant, and each has a story to tell.

Two things I didn’t love:

  • The narrative voice. The character of Lilly is supposed to be a) an immigrant, albeit one fluit in English, but still carries an altered grammar, and b) old. Her stories were sometimes disjointed, scattered, hard to follow. I’m not sure if this was a conscious decision on the part of the author or not, but either way it came across as distracting.
  • The end. No spoilers, but vague much??

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