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Up in Ontario [Paperback]

James Sherrett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2003
Set in the parklands of Manitoba and the lakes of Ontario, Sherrett’s debut novel covers thirty years in the lives of Gilbert, Christine and Wade Dubois, tracing the impact of divorce and Wade’s discovery of place and belonging within his family.“Sherrett brings such warmth and humanity to his characters, it’s almost startling to take into account the razor-sharp precision of his writing. This is an assured, captivating debut.”—Lynn Coady, author of Saints of Big Harbour

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Review

James Sherrett has created a captivating first novel, a love story about summer romance and all the long years that follow.-Owen Sound Sun Sentinel -- Owen Sound Sun-Sentinel, January 22, 2004

Sherrett is a powerful enough writer to trust his talents, bringing about the story in his own relaxed manner.-The Winnipeg Free Press -- The Winnipeg Free Press, January 25, 2004

Sherrett's closing scene is the sort that returns to you unbidden at 3 a.m. then gradually casts the whole novel in revealing new light.-The Globe and Mail -- The Globe and Mail, January 17, 2004

From the Back Cover

"Sherrett brings such warmth and humanity to his characters, it's almost startling to take into account the razor-sharp precision of his writing. This is an assured, captivating debut."-Lynn Coady, author of Saints of Big Harbour

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A vacation for body and soul Jan. 27 2004
"Either you belong to someplace or you don't. If you don't, you can go anywhere. If you do, then the place belongs to you too."
So says Gil Dubois, a trapper and fisher who defiantly belongs to a place, and will not leave it for anything. Not for his wife in Winnipeg. Not for his impressionable young son Wade. Gil belongs to Lake of the Woods, and it belongs to him. On one level, Gil dominates Up in Ontario, the assured literary debut by former Manitoban James Sherrett. Gil is an attractive, classical archetype, a Marlboro Man in the Canadian backwoods, living by his own rules.
Yet rather than pursue the obvious Grizzly Adams parallel, Sherrett reaches for something far more significant. Up in Ontario is a tale of father and son, separated through distance and time, brought together in their mutual love of an idyllic wilderness.
Sherrett is a powerful enough writer to trust his talents, bringing about the story in his own relaxed manner. Like Lake of the Woods itself, Sherrett leisurely follows the currents and eddies of the Dubois's lives, touching on those precise moments where simultaneously nothing happens and everything changes.
Both Gil and Wade, as the years pass, find themselves struggling to discover their places in the world. Gil accepts that his life is an anachronism, part of an ever-shrinking population, railing against the encroachment of a constantly expanding civilization.
He lives "in the last century," knowing that there was "no changing the things that had happened, there was only being less afraid of the things to come."
Wade, growing up in Winnipeg, bemoans his realization that he is not his father.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Canadian novel April 3 2004
By Monique
Up in Ontario is a story hat moves me to tears yet also makes me burst out laughing.
Right from the first sentence James is testing his reader and promising a family epic. Reminiscent of One Hundred Years of Solitude, he begins with one character and then moves to the life and family that unfolds around them. Rather than 100 years of solitude, James has focused on 30 years of the Dubois family. Gill Dubois is the solitude, or rather he chooses the solitude of his cabin on the shores of Lake of the Woods. A lifelong fisherman and trapper, he can't for love or money give up that life, not for his wife Christine nor for their son Wade.
The characters of Wade and Gill fascinated me. I'm drawn to their maleness, the blood on their hands from hunting, and the guts of the fish. But despite their manly pursuits there is a warmth and humanity to these characters, a tenderness and a wit that should not be underestimated. Up in Ontario is a story about men: their loves, alliances, compromises, dreams and deaths.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clean Diction Nov. 17 2004
By andrew - Published on Amazon.com
I like strong verbs and nouns in what I read and this novel excels at both. It's a good story with enjoyable characters and a number of memorable scenes. There's romance as well as action and that kept me turning the pages. A good read. I'd like to see more by this writer and hope he has another book on the way.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Canadian novel April 3 2004
By Monique - Published on Amazon.com
Up in Ontario is a story hat moves me to tears yet also makes me burst out laughing.
Right from the first sentence James is testing his reader and promising a family epic. Reminiscent of One Hundred Years of Solitude, he begins with one character and then moves to the life and family that unfolds around them. Rather than 100 years of solitude, James has focused on 30 years of the Dubois family. Gill Dubois is the solitude, or rather he chooses the solitude of his cabin on the shores of Lake of the Woods. A lifelong fisherman and trapper, he can't for love or money give up that life, not for his wife Christine nor for their son Wade.
The characters of Wade and Gill fascinated me. I'm drawn to their maleness, the blood on their hands from hunting, and the guts of the fish. But despite their manly pursuits there is a warmth and humanity to these characters, a tenderness and a wit that should not be underestimated. Up in Ontario is a story about men: their loves, alliances, compromises, dreams and deaths.
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