A Good House

A Good House

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
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A novel about three generations of an ordinary smalltown family from the 1950s to the 1990s. Bill Chambers has come home from W.W. II with several fingers of his right hand missing but with his will to restore his family life intact. He wants the best for his wife and children, and with his steady job at the hardware store, the future stretches out before him.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperFlamingo Canada, c1999
ISBN: 9780002255264
000225526X
9780006485261
000648526X
9780006393016
0006393012
Characteristics: 283 p. ; 24 cm

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Eosos
Apr 01, 2015

I like the meandering style of this family story.

I was rather partial to the story gaps, where chapters would start 2-9 years later and you are left to catch up on what had happened and what was happening. I found it an enticing way to read a story.

The almost never judgmental love that is portrayed in the story is a nice change from the often dysfunctional families in so many books.

I also like how, for the most part, the entire story focuses on the people in the family. Not on the changing world around them or even how those changes are effecting them. It's just about family dynamics through 50 years of love, tragedy, marriage, divorce, death and children.

l
lisahiggs
May 17, 2010

Winner of the 1999 Giller Prize.

This won the Giller Prize because it was different. Its entirely narrative style avoids sentimentality and never exceeds a calm flow as it describes the tragedies of being human. The same distance that gives this book its literary strength is also its greatest weakness: we are kept so far back from the characters that I want to shout out “Why?” across the gulf that separates us.

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