David Bergen The Time In Between: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781400062409

The Time In Between: A Novel

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9781400062409: The Time In Between: A Novel
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In search of love, absolution, or forgiveness, Charles Boatman leaves the Fraser Valley of British Columbia and returns mysteriously to Vietnam, the country where he fought twenty-nine years earlier as a young, reluctant soldier. But his new encounters seem irreconcilable with his memories.

When he disappears, his daughter Ada, and her brother, Jon, travel to Vietnam, to the streets of Danang and beyond, to search for him. Their quest takes them into the heart of a country that is at once incomprehensible, impassive, and beautiful. Chasing her father’s shadow for weeks, following slim leads, Ada feels increasingly hopeless. Yet while Jon slips into the urban nightlife to avoid what he most fears, Ada finds herself growing closer to her missing father — and strong enough to forgive him and bear the heartbreaking truth of his long-kept secret.

Bergen’s marvellously drawn characters include Lieutenant Dat, the police officer who tries to seduce Ada by withholding information; the boy Yen, an orphan, who follows Ada and claims to be her guide; Jack Gouds, an American expatriate and self-styled missionary; his strong-willed and unhappy wife, Elaine, whose desperate encounters with Charles in the days before his disappearance will always haunt her; and Hoang Vu, the artist and philosopher who will teach Ada about the complexity of love and betrayal. We also come to learn about the reclusive author Dang Tho, whose famous wartime novel pulls at Charles in ways he can’t explain.

Moving between father and daughter, the present and the past, The Time in Between is a luminous, unforgettable novel about one family, two cultures, and a profound emotional journey in search of elusive answers.

“Beautiful and timely...A sparse and moving meditation on the burden of war across generations.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Exquisite...With simple sentences, evocative images and subtle insights into elusive emotional states, the words don’t merely tell a story; they become poetry.”
The Baltimore Sun

“This is a book of searching....Part war story...part expatriate novel, too, as if A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises had been rolled into one.”
Chicago Tribune

“Brilliant...a literary triumph...As Kurt Vonnegut’s memorable “Slaughterhouse-Five” did so brilliantly with the impact of World War II, Bergen’s book lives and breathes the Vietnam experience.”
Deseret Morning News (Best Books of 2005)

Best Books of 2005
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Intense...haunting...a profound meditation on human disconnection.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Spellbinding.”
The Sunday Oklahoman

“Bergen is a master of understatement....[his] elegantly crafted denouement is devastating and powerful, a testament to a writer who senses that some things–passion, violence–can be understood only by traveling outside one's comfort zone and traversing the far edges of reason.”
San Diego Union-Tribune

“A beautifully composed, unflinching and harrowing story. Perhaps the best fiction yet to confront and comprehend the legacy of Vietnam.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Affecting...delicate...At the end of this lovely novel, it is Ada and her siblings who are left searching, and the reader along with them.”
The Wall Street Journal

“The Vietnam War has been the inspiration for scores of novels, but Bergen’s fifth book is one of the most moving we’ve encountered.”
Sacramento Bee

“A beautifully crafted meditation on the frustrating search for emotional clarity....[This] simmering novel will mesmerize readers with the intensity of its vision.”
Booklist

“Haunting and dreamlike...The author writes with a certain delicacy of description...[that] preserves the exquisiteness of the Vietnamese culture, lending a unique beauty to the story. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal

“Luminous...In this meditation on the aftereffects of violence and failed human connection, Bergen’s austere prose illustrates the arbitrary nature of life’s defining moments.”
Publishers Weekly

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From the Inside Flap:

In search of love and absolution, Charles Boatman leaves for Vietnam, the country where he had fought 29 years earlier as a young, reluctant soldier. When he disappears, his daughter, Ada, and her brother, Jon, travel to the streets of Da Nang and beyond.

Their quest takes them into the heart of a country at once incomprehensible, impassive, and beautiful. While Jon slips into the urban nightlife to avoid what he most fears, Ada finds herself growing closer to her missing father — and strong enough to forgive him and bear the heartbreaking truth of his long-kept secret. The dual narration by Michael Hogan and Tricia Collins gives breathtaking immediacy to this affecting novel.

About the Author:

David Bergen is the author of four highly acclaimed novels: A Year of Lesser, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award; See the Child; The Case of Lena S., winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction; and, most recently, The Time in Between, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He is also the author of a collection of short fiction, Sitting Opposite My Brother, which was a finalist for the Manitoba Book of the Year Award.

David Bergen lives in Winnipeg.

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