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What Is Left the Daughter Tekijä: Howard…
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What Is Left the Daughter (vuoden 2010 painos)

Tekijä: Howard Norman (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
4563153,701 (3.71)66
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Howard Norman, widely regarded as one of this country's finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books??The Bird Artist, The Museum Guard, and The Haunting of L??in this erotically charged and morally complex story.

Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges??the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda.

Setting in motion the novel's chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. Actual historical incidents??including a German U-boat's sinking of the Nova Scotia??Newfoundland ferry Caribou, on which Aunt Constance Hillyer might or might not be traveling??lend intense narrative power to Norman's uncannily layered story.

Wyatt's account of the astonishing??not least to him?? events leading up to his fathering of a beloved daughter spills out twenty-one years later. It's a confession that speaks profoundly of the mysteries of human character in wartime and is directed, with both despair and hope, to an audience of one.

An utterly stirring novel. This is Howard Norman at h… (lisätietoja)

Jäsen:Brandymvonzellen
Teoksen nimi:What Is Left the Daughter
Kirjailijat:Howard Norman (Tekijä)
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2010), Edition: 1, 243 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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What Is Left the Daughter (tekijä: Howard Norman)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 31) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Another fine novel from Howard Norman.

Wyatt Hillyer tells his life story through a series of long letters to a lost love one. To be honest you soon forget they are letters. Peopled with some wonderful characters. ( )
  Caroline_McElwee | Dec 11, 2022 |
As the daughter he has not seen since she was a very young child approaches her 21st birthday, Wyatt Hillyer attempts to explain to her--in a long letter--the events that led to her existence, and what she should know about his life both before and after her birth. He feels he has nothing else to leave her. Luminous prose, and a story full of heart. ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Nov 8, 2022 |
The Publisher Says: Howard Norman, widely regarded as one of this country's finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books—The Bird Artist, The Museum Guard, and The Haunting of L—in this erotically charged and morally complex story.

Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges—the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda.

Setting in motion the novel's chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. Actual historical incidents—including a German U-boat's sinking of the Nova Scotia-Newfoundland ferry Caribou, on which Aunt Constance Hillyer might or might not be traveling—lend intense narrative power to Norman's uncannily layered story.

Wyatt's account of the astonishing—not least to him—events leading up to his fathering of a beloved daughter spills out twenty-one years later. It's a confession that speaks profoundly of the mysteries of human character in wartime and is directed, with both despair and hope, to an audience of one.

An utterly stirring novel. This is Howard Norman at his celebrated best.

I CHECKED THIS BOOK OUT FROM THE LIBRARY. USE THEM OFTEN, THEY LIVE AND DIE ON OUR PATRONAGE.

My Review
: When an author of Howard Norman's stature uses the epistolary storytelling technique, the chances of disappointment...always higher when this difficult-to-master form is used...shrink back into insignificance. As expected, then, this read was a master class in what and how to make of the epistles in question.

Wyatt's parents aren't alive as we meet him. I got a strong intimation that he, looking back on a whole family's life pretty passionately (if unhappily) lived, didn't feel they were alive before they each committed suicide for mixed-up love of the same woman. If I had to guess (Author Norman doesn't over-explain anything, ever) I'd say Wyatt's life more complicated than most from the very beginning. His letter to his largely unseen daughter, however, is all about putting forward the facts of her paternal family's life as he recalls them. It felt to me as though Author Norman's telling of the tale was direct and honest; so Wyatt, then, wasn't aware even in retrospect of his life's peculiarly high levels of complexity.
In The Highland Book of Platitudes, Marlais, there's an entry that reads, "Not all ghosts earn our memory in equal measure." I think about this sometimes. I think especially about the word "earn," because it implies an ongoing willful effort on the part of the dead, so that if you believe the platitude, you have to believe in the afterlife, don't you? Following that line of thought, there seem to be certain people—call them ghosts—with the ability to insinuate themselves into your life with more belligerence and exactitude than others—it's their employment and expertise.

With all the arousal hormones Wyatt's story begins with, and given the fact that he's writing to his twentyish daughter, this is a story pretty much guaranteed to be about the erotic charge that a messy life provides and more importantly about its costs. Wyatt's unrequited love for a person in his family circle who is not a relative is the stuff of life. I suspect it was deeply relatable to anyone who's ever been part of a blended or a found family. The object of his affections, herself an added person (one whose family isn't a birth family), falls madly in love with someone socially inconvenient: A German émigré, and this story's set during World War II. So there's another level of relatability, as what adult has made it this far without an unrequited love?
My whole life, Marlais, I've had difficulty coming up with the right word to use in a given situation, but at least I know what the right word would have been once I hear it.

The problem this inability brings with it, or perhaps the character trait it points up, is that of passivity. Wyatt is not a doer but a done-to. Nothing that happens in his (passive, epistolary) account of his life to the daughter he doesn't know is as a result of his actions. The one truly, damningly awful thing he's involved in, and for which he is now seeking his daughter's forgiveness, is a result of his inaction, his inability to stand for something.
I realize I've sometimes raced over the years like an ice skater fleeing the devil on a frozen river.
–and–
I refuse any longer to have my life defined by what I haven't told you.

But what he does, this man of inaction, is write the young woman a letter. How typical of him...make an effort but make it ineffectually. What a letter does is enable him to remain inactive yet still offer, as if from behind a wall, an accounting of the young woman in question's heritage. What happens as a result? We never know; Author Norman's story is of Wyatt, not Marlais.

You'll have to decide if that's a deal-maker or -breaker for you. I fall on the line between those poles. I need to feel a story is complete, fulfilling its brief, to really lose myself in it. The musicality of Author Norman's line-by-line creation can draw one along for a good while but there's always that need to have some story pay-off for me. I was not all the way satisfied...I wasn't dissatisfied...there was a strange liminality in this tale of passive inaction's consequences. I would recommend you read the book. I wouldn't recommend it to you, however, of you're in the mood for a propulsive plot-driven thrillride. Does the read repay the effort? It did for me—mostly.

I think Author Norman turned me into Wyatt! ( )
  richardderus | Oct 25, 2022 |
I think this book is really 3.5 stars, but this is not a choice on this rating system. So I err towards the lesser (since I’m not sure if this book will have made a lasting impression-only time will tell.)

First off it is really difficult to talk about this book without giving away all of the plot lines. Suffice it to say quite a bit happens to Wyatt Hillyer, and most of it is bad.

Wyatt is mostly a bystander in his own life, and because of that is rather pathetic, in yet, we still empathize with him, a sign of a good writer. Norman is a succinct writer who tells this multi-layered story in less than 300 pages, complete with 2 suicides, a murder, a love triangle and a love child (not born out of the love triangle). He knows how to hold the reader’s attention and although this is not a “suspense-thriller” novel there is suspense and tension throughout the story. And lastly he has a dry, wiry sense of humor which was unexpected but surely welcomed.

I listened to this on audio and Bronson Pinchot was the reader. He did a fine job and I would definitely recommend it for a fast listen (only 7 hours)/read.
( )
1 ääni tshrope | Jan 13, 2020 |
It’s a given—Howard Norman always reveals his substantial humanity, elegance, humor, and talent in his beautiful writing. With this novel, he also knows how to get your attention from the start. Our main character/narrator is Wyatt Hillyer, a seventeen-year-old who loses both his parents within hours of each other. They both jumped to their deaths from separate bridges, because of their love for the very same woman.
Wyatt then ended up living with his aunt and uncle in Middle Economy, Nova Scotia. Wyatt works diligently making toboggans and sleds with his uncle Donald, and becomes fixated on his adopted cousin, the ravishing Tilda. (I love the use of the language around the word “ravishing” in the book—it’s very seductive.) Unfortunately, for Wyatt, after he fell madly in love with her, Tilda meets, and quickly falls for and marries Hans, a young German student.
The story takes place during WWII and involves the death of a well-liked local woman who dies when a German U-boat sinks a coastal ferry. Because of the war, tensions and prejudices against Germans were already high, but it rose to the level of violence with the sinking. When Wyatt becomes involved as an accessory to a murder, he ends up in prison for a number of years. Norman’s writing depicts all these feelings of love and hate in a very believable way that runs throughout the book.
Norman never seems to misstep in his writing. I always feel for his characters and believe their actions make sense to them at the time. The entire book is narrated by Wyatt as a message to his 21-year-old daughter Marlais, a daughter that he hasn’t seen in almost twenty years.
This book came out about a decade ago, and while I love all his writing, his latest book, The Ghost Clause, was one my very favorite books that I’ve read this year. ( )
  jphamilton | Oct 20, 2019 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 31) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
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Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
I refuse any longer to have my life defined by what I haven't told you.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Howard Norman, widely regarded as one of this country's finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books??The Bird Artist, The Museum Guard, and The Haunting of L??in this erotically charged and morally complex story.

Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges??the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda.

Setting in motion the novel's chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. Actual historical incidents??including a German U-boat's sinking of the Nova Scotia??Newfoundland ferry Caribou, on which Aunt Constance Hillyer might or might not be traveling??lend intense narrative power to Norman's uncannily layered story.

Wyatt's account of the astonishing??not least to him?? events leading up to his fathering of a beloved daughter spills out twenty-one years later. It's a confession that speaks profoundly of the mysteries of human character in wartime and is directed, with both despair and hope, to an audience of one.

An utterly stirring novel. This is Howard Norman at h

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