on August 18, 2011
I'm thrilled with this book of intergenerational intrigue in a very real Nova Scotian setting. It should win a Governor General's literary award and be listed on Canada Reads.
The novel weaves together rich "coming of age" scenarios - at several stages of life. Wisdom, reconciliation and resolution are juxtaposed with tragedy, secrecy and suspicion within a troubled set of familial relationships. Nevertheless, there is hope and plenty of humour.
Donnelly's writing style in flawlessly fluid, sprinkled with remarkable imagery, turns of phrase and priceless expressions that make me wish I were part of the Nova Scotia milieu from whence they must have sprung!
Great Village is a great read and a great catalyst for discussion. No family should be without it!
on October 31, 2012
This story takes place over a relatively short period of time. The memories of times gone by bring substance to the characters and to the place they are in their lives in the present. Relationships are explored and sometimes it seems that only the reader is privy to the secrets that define those relationships. The descriptive writing draws the reader right in to Great Village and the spray of the cold ocean water. There is humour and sadness sprinkled with a good dose of what it is like to age. Mostly you would like to share a morning coffee with the two main characters, Flossie and Mealie.