Monday, May 30, 2011

Caribou Island by David Vann

Caribou Island: A Novel
On a small island in a glacier-fed lake on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, a marriage is unraveling. Gary, driven by thirty years of diverted plans, and Irene, haunted by a tragedy in her past, are trying to rebuild their life together. Following the outline of Gary's old dream, they're hauling logs to Caribou Island in good weather and in terrible storms, in sickness and in health, to build the kind of cabin that drew them to Alaska in the first place.

But this island is not right for Irene. They are building without plans or advice, and when winter comes early, the overwhelming isolation of the prehistoric wilderness threatens their bond to the core. Caught in the emotional maelstrom is their adult daughter, Rhoda, who is wrestling with the hopes and disappointments of her own life. Devoted to her parents, she watches helplessly as they drift further apart.

This is a raw, honest and uncomfortable novel.  There is so much dysfunction in every relationship and no likeable characters.  The author captures the cold ruggedness of Alaska very well but, the story line leaves much to be desired.

Rating:2 Do NOT Recommend

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