Benjamin Benjamin traîne quelques casseroles : un nom à coucher dehors, un passé douloureux et les papiers de son divorce qu'il n'a pas encore signés. Sa méthode pour faire face ? La fuite, évidemment. Cependant, obligé de se trouver un emploi, il suit une rapide formation d'aide à la personne et se retrouve chargé de Trev, un ado malade à l'imagination débridée. Heureusement que ces deux amochés de la vie partagent une passion pour les formes généreuses des Miss Météo, les attractions touristiques saugrenues et un furieux besoin de tout envoyer valser. Sans condescendance ni apitoiement, Jonathan Evison a façonné un récit doux-amer, fait de héros touchants, qui nous montre qu'il y a toujours de l'espoir, qu'il faut accepter les moments les plus terribles pour profiter des plus lumineux.
Jonathan Evison opens his electrifying epic, West of Here, at the Elwha River dam, where over a hundred years since settlers of the fictional town of Port Bonita tamed the river, their descendants gather in anticipation of the dam's blasting, and a new era of restoration. Across the next five hundred pages, Evison's story moves between 2006 and the town's earliest days at the close of the 19th century, overlaying stories of the people who passed through or dug in at Port Bonita, which swelled from settlement to town on the ragged shoreline of Washington State's Strait of Juan de Fuca. The past is populated by intrepid folk: an exploration party penetrating the Olympic Mountain range in the depths of winter, Klallam natives sickened by homeland eviction and whiskey, a young feminist at odds with motherhood, a prostitute doing covert battle with her whorehouse's owner, and an idealistic entrepreneur, blasting the river canyon into submission. In 2006, we meet their softer progeny: an ex-con who flees into the mountains with a stash of Snickers, the lonely parole officer determined to find him, a fish processing plant worker with a Bigfoot fixation, a native woman who rethinks her whole life when her son has a psychic break, and more memorable characters haunted by the past, by their unlived lives, by themselves. Though its themes are weighty, West of Here never bogs down -irreverent humour, lustrous prose, and unexpected moments animate a tale as vast as the land it inhabits.
'As sweet as it is inventive, profound as it is hilarious, unflinching as it is big-hearted.'
Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, BernadetteHarriet Chance has spent the last seventy-eight years following the rules... Career girl (brief)
Wife (fifty-five years)
Mother of two (ongoing)Now widowed, Harriet discovers that her late husband had been planning an Alaskan cruise. Ignoring the advice of her children and wanting to make the most of the opportunity, she decides to set sail.There, amid the buffets and lounge singers, between the imagined appearances of Bernard and the very real arrival of her daughter, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life. What she will discover is that she has lived the best part of her life under entirely false assumptions. Confronted with the notion that her past could have been different, will she take a second chance at life?