I can't tell you the story. Is there a story? I think it's the epitome of a literary work - the characters are the story. It's about Helen, a mom of four who is widowed when her husband dies on the Ocean Ranger, a rig off the coast of Newfoundland that sank in 1982. The narrative switches among 1982, flashbacks of her husband before his death, and times afterwards up to present day with her grown children and grandchildren. The story... story? just is.
It is a piece of art. It's like an impressionist painting that you can stare at in parts and appreciate the colours, the textures, the lines. It's like a piece of music that sweeps you up and makes you close your eyes and concentrate on only the music. It's like a chocolate cake that you let slowly melt in your mouth to savour it. The story is less important, just like the scene of the painting is secondary to the colours and brushstrokes.
Lisa Moore does interesting things with her words. She does things that are against the rules: omits quotation marks, uses run on sentences, uses passive voice, uses repetition of words and phrases... all the things that would be 'wrong' in an edit of someone else, someone lesser of a writer. It's beautiful and it works but it creates an air of inaccessibility... that this is a higher form of art not attainable or
accessible for typical readers and writers. I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing?
I enjoyed reading it, it's a beautiful novel, but I'm happy to slip back into something narrative and story based for now.