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When Harry, the local cop, knocks on Paul Unger’s door early one morning to give him the grim news -- that his son, Stephen, has been found drowned -- Paul descends into a grief that carries him to a dark and unfamiliar place. His comfortable life is overturned, and he is left to question his own role in his son’s death. When, several years later, a woman returns to town with a boy who might be Paul’s grandson, Paul imagines in both of them a path back to his son.
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DAVID BERGEN is an award-winning author of eight previous novels and a collection of short stories. Among his acclaimed works are The Time in Between, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize; The Matter with Morris, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize, the winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Age of Hope which was a #1 bestseller and a finalist for Canada Reads; and Stranger, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize. Bergen lives in Winnipeg.From Publishers Weekly:
Bergen (A Year of Lesser) explores death, grief and guilt, and the interplay among them in this plaintive, deeply moving novel. Paul Unger, a prosperous middle-aged man living in a small town in Manitoba, wakes up one night to the news that his alienated teenage son, Stephen, is dead. Paul's resulting spiral of depression tears apart his marriage and drives him to isolate himself on his farm, where he throws himself into bee husbandry. When Nicole, Stephen's sluttish girlfriend, comes back to town with a child, Paul cleaves to them with a fierce intensity. While creating a powerful bond with his grandson, Sky, he also seeks solace and answers in Nicole: what exactly was her relationship with his son? Did she love him? Are her current intentions mercenary or genuine? The three form an odd family unit, living on the farm even as gossip swirls about in town and in the Unger family. Paul emerges as an oddly bifurcated figure. At times, his grieving is brought into sharp focus, and the pain of a father exposes itself as biting, guilt-ridden and ubiquitous. Yet he remains curiously dispassionate when confronted with danger, both physical and emotional. Bergen writes with a precision that reveals every detail, every action, carefully depicting Paul's emotional vulnerability and his need to determine how much he is responsible for his son's death and the fate of his grandson. Each of the secondary characters inhabits a tangible reality, whether it's the burly, rather menacing Montanan with whom Nicole trysts or the endearingly pathetic wife of the local constable who propositions Paul in a painfully awkward scene. This authenticity deepens the novel's perspective, allowing this compassionate tale of mourning to be told with graceful honesty.
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Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-0002255219
Book Description HarperFlamingoCanada, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0002255219
Book Description HarperFlamingoCanada, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0002255219