Title: Canada

Author: Richard Ford

Published: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012


First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. 

Then about the murders, which happened later.

It was more bad instincts and bad luck that lead to Dell Parsons’ parents robbing a bank. They weren’t reckless people, but in an instant, their actions alter fifteen-year-old Dell’s sense of normal life forever. In the days that follow, he is saved before the authorities think to arrive. Driving across Montana, his life hurtles towards the unknown; a hotel in a deserted town, the violent and enigmatic Arthur Remlinger, and towards Canada itself. But, as Dell discovers, in this new world of secrets and upheaval, he is not the only one whose past lies on the other side of the border. 


I’ve just re-read over the blurb of this book, wondering if I got confused, trying to correlate this with the book I read. The more I read the blurb, the more I can pick out what parts of the book are being referred to, but I struggled with this one. I found the synopsis misleading – but maybe that’s just me, and I was reading into it what I wanted to. The story I was expecting would have been interesting I think. I found the story I got a bit boring. I felt like something would happen, and I’d be like ‘Oh good, this could be interesting, lets explore this’, and that story line would end. Plot re-direct. Then something else would happen. I’m like ‘Oh, OK, so this is what we’re going to focus on’ and then nope, plot change. Happened to me around 4 times. Happening to me now – struggling to focus on the book long enough to write a review!

The whole book was very descriptive. The first half is background – Dell, Berner (twin sister) and their parents, bits and pieces of religion, culture, history, family, Dad’s work, how weird Dad is, Dad’s research into the best plan for robbing a bank, Berner’s boyfriend. Was good background, except for the fact that once the background is over and Mum and Dad rob the bank, the story changes. We have no more need for most of the back ground. The second half of the book is solely Dell’s story. Most of the background was build up to… nothing.


I think basically I don’t like descriptive books if there’s little or no action. I need a bit more happening to keep me interested. I will say this, the writing was good, it was easy to read, I just didn’t really want to pick it up so it took me a while to read. It’s great if you like description, but I’d read great chunks and not remember what I’ve read, but have no real ambition to go back and re-read to find out. I was the only one at book club that had actually finished it. One was about halfway through and persisting, and another had given up halfway. Reasoning was – bored, nothing happening, wasn’t sure where it was going. There was questions about Berner’s life – my friend asked as there was some set up there with her and her boyfriend Rudy, but there was very little resolution of that. I thought there was some perfunctory answers, but I felt like they were a bit of an after thought, sort of like she’d been forgotten about but Ford remembered her at the last minute and thought ‘oh, cripes, should put something in there about what happens to Berner.’


So not a win for me – or the rest of the book club girls. Oh well.

Next up for June: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


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