Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Northward to the Moon by Polly Horvath

I love a Polly Horvath book.

I know when I pick it up that it will be something special, something I have never read before, and something that will stick with me. It will also, most definitely, be something beautifully composed. I looked forward to this book all year.

Northward to the Moon is the sequel to My One Hundred Adventures. I don’t adore these two books like I do The Canning Season and The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane. There is plenty of weirdness (Jane and her siblings of unknown paternity living a vagabond life on the beach) but they are a smoother ride.

At the end of Adventures, Felicity, Jane’s poet mother, and Ned decide to relocate the family from the coast of Massachusetts to the plains of British Columbia so Ned can teach French. But Ned does not know French and in the first pages of Northward he loses his job. Then Ned hears about a dying old friend, a Carrier (of Canadian First Nations), with whom he stayed for a spell during one of his many travels. She has a message for Ned which leads the family to Nevada in search of Ned’s mother.

Once the family got to Nevada I realized that there is quite a bit of information about the adults in the story. Estranged family members, family secrets, sibling relationships, aging parents, multi-generational bonds. Okay yes, these things are also reflected back to Jane and her siblings, but it still made me pause while I was reading it.

And then there’s the ending. Oh Polly Horvath. I do so enjoy your books.

Never fear! It looks like we will hear more about Jane in the future.

Source: checked out from my library

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