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Afloat [Hardcover]

Jennifer McCartney
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Feb. 27 2007
It is the summer of 2000 and Bell, a student from Minnesota, is employed at an elite restaurant on Mackinac Island. With a circumference of just nine miles and no automobiles allowed, this unique resort on Lake Michigan is teeming with horse-drawn carriages, top-shelf vodka, bicycles, smoked whitefish and inspiring relationships. Forty years later, Bell is stranded in her St Paul home clearing away the belongings of a lifetime while she awaits the arrival of a guest from that deceptively idyllic summer. "Afloat" is an exquisitely distilled exploration of material and spiritual values and - equally - a riveting story of loyalty, betrayal and survival.

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Product Description

About the Author

Jennifer McCartney is a Canadian novelist and short-story writer from Ontario. She has lived and worked in Ohio, Michigan, Utah, South Carolina, London and Glasgow, where she was awarded a distinction for her graduate degree in creative writing. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Your right hand, palm inward, thumb out, is the state of Michigan. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TLS review is right on--worth the read! March 24 2007
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.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Afloat - that is where it has kept me! March 29 2007
I know it is the most ridiculous thing to review a book that you are only half way done. There is a reason for this. I can only admit that I have been savouring this book and I am doing this because I do not want it to end. I feel like Bell is my friend and I relate to her so well. McCartney is full of fresh analogies that make you want to keep reading...a real conflict for someone trying to make the experience stretch out as long as possible!!! The story is a delicious change in time and venue...a real original. Thank you Jennifer!
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs a Lifejacket March 13 2007
A smoking and drinking girl takes a summer job on Michigan's Mackinac Island. She waits tables, hangs around in bars talking. Think of it as a junior version of Sex and the City centered around a theme -- pretty common novelistic approach these days. She meets a boy who becomes her boyfriend and years later she is to meet him again. Maybe he shot is father on a hunting trip, maybe on purpose, maybe by accident and she as an older woman spends time ruminating on this maybe fact. I found it trying -- the author is trying really hard to do a book, and I was trying hard to stay interested. It lacks raw talent and I don't think it was edited. Error compounds upon error and this eventually steals us away from the magic. It's alot like The Sweet Edge by Alison Pick or Afterwards by Rachel Seiffert so if you liked those you'll probably like this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written Dec 20 2012
By Mrs T. - Published on
Afloat is a beautifully written novel that accurately captures the magic of those early 20-something summers. The author does a wonderful job of drawing the reader into the beauty that is Mackinac Island as well as keeps you wondering what is coming next. Overall a great book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner March 10 2010
By RMB - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I could not put this book down! It made me wish I was younger, and still had carefree summers to enjoy.
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