I just saw this reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement last week and went out to buy it. I was pleasantly surprised. The Canadian author writes about the utopian existence of youth with a style that is pleasurably engaging, and often with humour. I found that the narrative often caused me to reflect on my own youth and the feeling of endless life ahead. The novel then mirrors back and forth to contrast the struggles of life in the same person 50 years later; this was where I was most surprised. This is often difficult for a writer to do well, but this author conveys a mature understanding of such struggles and feelings (that I can attest to); something one would expect from an older writer.
From all the reviews it seems like it's taking off in the UK, but I'm told that it's just been released here in Canada. It should do well, if the following reviews (checking with Google) are anything to go by. Thank you.
Some reviews I found that can say what I wanted to say, better than me!:
The Times Literary Supplement, UK, March 9, 2007
'McCartney keeps the reader pleasurably engrossed, as eager as Bell to discover what really happened on Mackinac that summer. The most powerfully evoked tragedy, however, is a temporal one. The memories Bell cherishes from her youth are not things that actually happened but of "the possibilities ahead of me." A youth spent envisioning a future that, as Fitzgerald put it, "year by year recedes before us". Now relatively wealthy, living in the "right part of town", she devotes her time to an endless replaying of the past. Bell's inability to live comfortably within the present is poignant; it lends the humour and riotous drunkenness throughout this novel a disquieting, sombre edge.
'The List, February 2007
`Fresh, energetic and genuine . . . reminiscent of The Time
Herald, February 3, 2007
`An intriguing tale of summer love told in teasing retrospect . .
. lovingly evoked, the more so for McCartney's sly humour and the