24 Following


Currently reading

Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred
Thomas Gallagher
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
Jenny K. Blake
When in French: Love in a Second Language
Lauren Collins
Beyond the Job Description: How Managers and Employees Can Navigate the True Demands of the Job
Jesse Sostrin
Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing
David Hubel, Margaret S. Livingstone
Achieving Your Potential As A Photographer: A Creative Companion and Workbook
Harold Davis
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Sherry Turkle
Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter)
Roberto Valenzuela
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl, Harold S. Kushner
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Jacob Silverman

Latitudes of Melt

Latitudes of Melt - Joan Clark Fresh off my Newfoundland vacation, this is the first novel set in Newfoundland that I have finished. It's a bit of a mix -- novel, folklore, history, geography, science, and told from different characters' points-of-view at times, so I wasn't always sure what to make of it. It seems to cover so many aspects of what I know of Newfoundland so far, that it feels a bit epic. But it deals with a relatively small, relatively ordinary family in some ways, so that takes away from it being more like the Thorn Birds or something on that scale. A baby is plucked off an ice floe in a basket on the Atlantic. She might be from the Titanic wreck, but no one comes forth to claim her. The St. Croix family names her Aurora. She's different -- white hair, one eye blue, one eye brown, and a different air about her. But they are in an isolated cove, and she makes her way with the family. Tragedy comes when her brother Louis drowns. Four years older than her, and they were already in their teen years. They seemed like they would be a couple. But Aurora changes, settles down to housework and schoolwork when her mother goes into grieving and neglects everyone else. Eventually, a young man from a nearby village spots Aurora and falls for her. They marry. They are passionate. His family manages the lighthouse, and lead a creative and intellectual life compared to the family Aurora was raised in. This suits her, and all is well until the children arrive. They have a hard time maintaining their love affair with the children underfoot, and Aurora has a hard time with her daughter, Nancy Rose. They have some rocky years, but the children grow and move away and Aurora and Tom rekindle their relationship.Tom dies young of a brain cancer. Aurora remakes her life as a caregiver for the elderly. Nancy Rose goes to college and falls for her British professor of Newfoundland history. They become pregnant, marry and move to England. Nancy Rose has a hard time adjusting to life in England, and her husband Philip who is not devoted to her, but has regular affairs. Stan, the younger brother, studies science and ice and icebergs. He remains a 35 year old virgin, and then falls hard for an Italian woman while he is in Florence giving a scientific paper. She marries him and moves back to Newfoundland. It seems improbable, but it goes well and she opens a catering business until she dies in a diving accident. It's sorta at this point, that I wonder where it's all going. But somehow I stuck with it, and did find it interesting in the end. They are all sorta loners, and the story describes how they make their lives, and how they make corrections from the initial mistakes or detours that they take. Eventually, the story of Aurora's parents gets filled in, and how her mother happened to be on the Titanic, along with miscellaneous other people she encounters on the boat. There's her roommate, an older woman who has nursed the insane all her life, and is now treating herself to this luxurious journey as she goes to visit her brother in America. She's also a petty thief and is stealing silverware, stationary, etc. left and right before she meets her end in the icy Atlantic. But again, it's an odd moment, but touching and it worked for me, as she turns to the annoying man from the boat and they have their final moments together in the water.