What Is Left the Daughter
On Oprah's Summer Reading List for 2010 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 set... show more
On Oprah's Summer Reading List for 2010 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 set during WWII. Orphaned by the sudden suicides of both his parents (who discovered they were in love with the same woman), seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is taken in by his aunt and uncle in the small town of Middle Economy, Novia Scotia, where he is apprenticed to his uncle's toboggan business and falls in love with his ravishing adopted cousin, Tilda. Setting in motion the novel's chain of life-altering passions is the arrival of 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, lend intense narrative power to Norman's uncannily layered story of wartime perfidy and prejudice. Tilda's feelings for Hans stir up tensions that will test the bonds of love, family, and community to its limits. Wyatt's personal account of the astonishing 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.
Publish date: July 6th 2010
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages no: 256
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Historical Fiction
, Literary Fiction
, World War II
Yes, I liked it, but I doubt if it leaves any lasting impression. I did learn a bit about Canadian German submarine warfare off the coast of Nova Scotia during WW2. This story is a letter of love and explanation from father to daughter. The daughter did not grow up with the father. The family situat...
For reasons I can't exactly describe, I really liked this book. I think I liked that while it wasn't anything new, everything was put together differently from what I'm used to reading. A lot of the story centered on how WWII affected a community, only this time, that community was in Canada. I don'...
Wyatt Hillyer has been estranged from his daughter for most of her life. One night in 1967 he decides to sit down and write a letter to send his daughter on her 21st birthday. The letter tells the story of his life, and thereby her life. It is difficult to describe this book. It has moments of d...
What I can say most about this book is that it really didn't *pop* for me. It was a short read, yet I have already forgotten the majority of the story.
My first Howard Norman novel. It reminded me of a British situational cozy, in that it was rather like a stalwart Canadian character drama. In a wartime Nova Scotia setting, populated by people with strong moral compasses buffeted by the strains of WWII, Norman crafts a finely wrought tale of the li...