Just a quick post to suggest two good books for those who are still in that snuggly, turkey and cookie induced post-Christmas haze.
Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald—How can you go wrong with MacDonald, actress, documentary host and author of the heartbreaking novel Fall on Your Knees and quite possibly the funniest send up of Academia/Shakespearian parody, Goodnight Desdemona, Goodmorning Juliet? MacDonald does not disappoint. In her tongue-in-cheek new novel Adult Onset, she reveals what’s really going on behind the remodeled red-brick façade of that middle class house in Toronto: mayhem. MacDonald’s heroine and alter-ego, Mary-Rose MacKinnon, is a writer happily married to her same-sex partner. More cogently for the narrative she’s a mother of two, including one school-aged boy and a spunky, sparky toddler daughter. In this book, she struggles with depression, not-so-latent childhood trauma, her partner’s absence, and the daily battle to get her toddler to put on her boots. Not necessarily in that order. Hilarious and moving, this book will surely delight and harrow all the moms out there. And, from the very first line, an homage to the opening of Dante’s Inferno, we know we are in the hands of a literary master.
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews. Nominated for the Giller. Both the funniest and saddest book I read this year… the story of children’s writer Yolandi (Yoli) and her suicidal sister Elfrieda (Elf) a classical pianist. To describe it as the story of how Yoli considers helping Elf end her life would be to diminish this so-true-to-life-you-can-smell-the-hospital- disinfectant-and-feel-the-Winnipeg-cold novel. Poetic. Hard to read. Full of one of family’s awkward attempts at normalcy in the face of the incomprehensible. A book so full of laughter, love and sorrow it should come with a warning label. Easily the best Canadian book of 2014.
Back tomorrow with some reflections on yoga, living and the year that was.