What Is Left the Daughter

What Is Left the Daughter

eBook - 2010
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Howard Norman, widely regarded as one of this country's finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books -- The Bird Artist, The Museum Guard, and The Haunting of L -- in this erotically charged and morally complex story. Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges -- the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda. Setting in motion the novel's chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. Actual historical incidents -- including a German U-boat's sinking of the Nova Scotia -- Newfoundland ferry Caribou, on which Aunt Constance Hillyer might or might not be traveling -- lend intense narrative power to Norman's uncannily layered story. Wyatt's account of the astonishing -- not least to him -- events leading up to his fathering of a beloved daughter spills out twenty-one years later. It's a confession that speaks profoundly of the mysteries of human character in wartime and is directed, with both despair and hope, to an audience of one. An utterly stirring novel. This is Howard Norman at his celebrated best.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
ISBN: 9780547487090
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource (256 pages)
Call Number: eBook


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Aug 17, 2016

Stunningly beautiful book.

Madelon2237 Apr 21, 2011

Sensitive story set in Nova Scotia WWII-unrequited love and tragedy

debwalker Dec 10, 2010

"Like Howard Norman's previous novels, What is Left the Daughter begins with a confession. In this case, 43-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is writing a letter to his estranged daughter on the occasion of her 21st birthday to tell her about "the terrible incident that I took part in on Oct. 16, 1942," when he was 19. The entire book is Hillyer's letter to his daughter, written over the course of weeks to explain his life and, in the process, shed some light on hers as well. The novel unravels the interwoven and complex motives surrounding this event and exposes the force of love, revenge and xenophobia. With such universal themes, it is a tribute not only to the continued importance of the novel as a representation of society but also to the dying art of letter writing."

Recommendations from Rona Brinlee at The BookMark in Atlantic Beach, Fla.

Oct 31, 2010

I really enjoyed this book. Very interesting time period as well as location. Howard Norman is a great storyteller. He really had me feeling for the characters in this book.


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