A good book has no ending. ~ R.D. Cumming

Monday, April 04, 2011


DivisaderoDivisadero by Michael Ondaatje

This novel follows the lives of Anna, her sister Claire, her father, and Coop, the adopted son of their murdered neighbours. Both Anna and Claire's mothers died during childbirth; after feeling pity for the newly-born, newly-motherless Claire, Anna's father had decided to bring her home and raise her as his own along with his own daughter, Anna. Fast-forward to two young teenaged girls and the now twenty-something Coop, things become problematic when Anna discovers a desire in her awakened by the young man. The family is shattered after a discovery made by Anna's father, and Anna's world is turned upside down. Readers are then introduced to the life of a now-deceased author, Lucien Segura, and the mirror between that past and the present that reflects love, family and how one's own past can dramatically alter one's present.

I wasn't overly wowed by this novel. It is written in sections so as to introduce the characters Anna, Claire and Coop in one section and author Lucien Segura in another, and I found that I could have enjoyed each section more as a separate story. It didn't seem to me that the tale between triangle of Anna, Claire and Coop was ever finished, and I found myself wondering what became of them. Then I got into the part about the author and I found that I wished that part to be a novel in itself so that it would have been developed further and I could have read more about those characters. To me the two parts didn't compliment each other, as it seems they were intended to. I can see the intent to correlate the theme of love, family, etc, however the two stories were so different from one another that, like I said above, I wished each was a separate story. Unfortunately this is yet another novel that I wouldn't necessarily recommend, however, as always, I encourage each individual to use their own judgement; another reader may enjoy this and get more out of it than I did - it did win the Governor General's Award, so there are obviously many others who were impressed with this novel. I, sadly, am not one of them.

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