02 April 2011

February by Lisa Moore

Anansi, 2009
I was itching to write this review even before I finished the book. But now that I've finished and I'm putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) I am not sure how to start, and what combination of words to use.  I am staggered by the depth of its reach into me.

Let's start with what the novel is about. It is about Helen O'Mara, whose husband Cal died on the Ocean Ranger oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland one stormy Valentines' night. It's about how she copes with desperate grief, in the face of which time resolutely refuses to stand still - pregnant Helen has to summon all her strength and raise their four young children without Cal. The narrative moves back and forth in time, and we see Helen at various stages of a long life. Somehow she pulls through. She has lost the love of her life, but she is surrounded by those who love her with so much of theirs.