I’ve finished my second Canada Reads book, Michael Winter’s Minister Without Portfolio. This was one of those slice-of-life type of books, we start by following Henry Hayward as he drifts through life after a terrible breakup. A tragedy, for which Henry feels responsible, forces him to return home and he slowly begins to find his roots. The heart of this book was really the community, it’s set in one of those small towns where everyone knows everything about everyone else and they all look out for each other. There are so many mishaps along the way yet it always seems to work out okay in the end and the characters don’t dwell on these things; the overall tone, at least to me, was ‘Stuff happens; we move on.’
I had trouble getting into this one. Winter’s style of writing is very different from anything I’ve read before. It’s very spare and he doesn’t use a lot of punctuation – he doesn’t even set apart the dialogue in any way. The whole thing is very stream of consciousness. Every time I picked it up it would take me a good fifteen minutes of reading before I got into the rhythm of Winter’s language. It was okay once I got into it but I’m not sure I’ll be on the lookout for more of Winter’s books.
I have holds on the other three Canada Reads books at my library but it seems like lots of other people have set similar challenges for themselves so I doubt I’ll be able to read all of them before the end of March as I had originally planned.