Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gail Anderson-Dargatz/ THE CURE FOR DEATH BY LIGHTNING


Fifteen year old Beth Weeks lives in rural British Columbia in the midst of invisible predators, cunning Coyotes and the whisper of Indian folk tales. Her family, once close, have been torn apart by a terrible madness which has gripped her father. Shunned by the local townspeople, attacked by former friends and faced with an unresponsive mother, Beth learns to find hope in unlikely places.

This is an incredibly visual book, filled with evocative scenery and terrifying images. Amongst the pages homemade recipes and excerpts of her mother's scrapbook are scattered, adding depth to the story. Beth is a perceptive and likable narrator, and while forced to grow beyond her years, her voice remains fresh and original.

It's easy to get lost within these pages, the novel is filled so much of superstition and the unknown that the dark scenes which should be gritty and raw read more like nightmares than reality. Although it sometimes felt as if the author was intentionally skirting the issue of the abuse in Beth's life, this could also be seen as an attempt to mirror an adolescent's natural hesitancy and confusion over such issues.

Overall this is a touching novel, one which emphasises that strength can be found within all of us, and that problems aren't solved by running away from them.

2 comments:

Jane Steen said...

Sounds interesting. I am adding it to my list! Thanks for the review.

mynovelreviews said...

This one is on my bookshelf - I'll have to get to it soon!