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The Sweet Edge Paperback – July 19 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

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Product details

  • Paperback : 284 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1551927837
  • Item Weight : 386 g
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1551927831
  • Product Dimensions : 13.34 x 1.91 x 20.32 cm
  • Publisher : Raincoast Books (July 19 2005)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

Product description

From Amazon

Blue-eyed, blonde, and young, Ellen works in an art gallery in Toronto and wants a baby. Adam, her adventurous boyfriend, doesn't. In a few spare pages, Pick limns the storyline in this tightly woven, fast-paced first novel. The relationship between Ellen and Adam is on the edge, and when Adam sleeps with his old friend, Cara, it suddenly slides over that edge. Adam and Ellen try to work things out by separating for the summer. He heads for a grueling seven-week canoe trip alone in the Yukon while Ellen stays home and begins to break out of her cocoon by making friends with a sociable and welcoming group of Buddhist lesbians. The story shifts quickly back and forth in time, lending complexity to a simple tale about the difficulties of young love.

Pick writes with authority: "Words are useless, she thinks. Words are a breath expelled, the part of the body that rises and disappears." Adam's difficult journey is the high point of the book, and the northern bush country is especially well depicted, with its lack of trees and its icy lakes, the wilderness that is "essentially unknowable." When Adam loses his way (echoing the relationship), the story turns into a thrilling struggle between one insignificant man and the overwhelming power of nature. Less successful are the author's attempts to describe in complex detail the contemporary art installations at the gallery where Ellen works. The characters throughout are readily imagined and the story skilfully told. In the end, Ellen and Adam both learn their lessons in different ways, finding that "wilderness is ... the core of everything." --Mark Frutkin

From Publishers Weekly

Canadian poet Pick's first novel preciously ponders the travails of a young couple as they figure out who they are and if they want (or, indeed, need) each other. Switching perspectives between art gallery gopher Ellen and brooding grad student Adam, Pick zeroes in on the deceptions and mutual disappointments that dog the pair as Ellen, desperate to hold on to Adam, follows him from Kingston, Ontario, to Toronto, even as she suspects he has been unfaithful to her. He has, of course, which makes her cling to him even more; her fear of abandonment trumps pride. Adam, intent on disentangling himself from Ellen, goes on a two-month soul-searching trip to the Canadian wilderness. While he is away, Ellen begins to see herself as an independent entity and finds herself surrounded by a supportive group of new friends. Adam, meanwhile, battles memories and Arctic hardships he isn't sure he will be able to survive. Pick infuses the novel with shining metaphors, which add a welcome luster to an otherwise stale plot. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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