Tag Archives: Lisa Moore

‘Caught’ by Lisa Moore

CaughtstarstarstarWith a whole lot more plot, this is a very different book than Moore’s last one. It’s a suspenseful page turner while February was much more an historical Newfoundland story and an exploration of grief and loss. February won Canada Reads  last year.

‘Caught’ tells the story of a man who escapes from jail and flees across country, not to change his name and disappear, but to finish the massive drug smuggling deal he got caught for the last time! Several times David Slaney is nearly apprehended but for some strange reason he continues to slip through and is often let go. Patterson, the troubled yet eager detective, hot on his trail, works hard tracking Slaney down, but wants to catch more than just one fish!

The plot is intriguing as it unfolds, and the story is compelling and kept my interest throughout, but I found it a bit too eloquently written for the drug dealing and suspense adventure storyline. Perhaps a literary thriller is something to be applauded! But I still can’t decide if it was that incongruity or something else that made the characters seem a bit two-dimensional to me. The book had all of the right elements, but for some reason I had a hard time engaging with it which is strange because a literary novel should be richer and go deeper. Moore’s turn of phrase is breathtaking – her observations are so precise and beautifully described. I wonder if her descriptions made me trip over the race to find out where the plot was going? Maybe her style of writing better suits the more introspective February type of novel.

Definitely a nifty new Canadian novel which many will enjoy, but despite being shortlisted for the Giller, probably won’t top the bestseller lists.

‘February’ by Lisa Moore

FebruarystarstarstarstarSurely you have also experienced this, but I love it when seemingly random forces conspire to all point in the same direction. Last year a gracious publisher replaced a book I had purchased which was missing the last 30 pages. For my troubles I was also granted the choice of a free book. I chose ‘February’ by Lisa Moore because the author was unknown to me and I liked the cover and the story line. Recently taking up the challenge to read books already residing on my own shelf (New Year’s Resolution), I threw ‘February’ into my bag for a 2 1/2 week trip to Australia and the South Pacific. While on the trip my sister-in-law wrote that she had just finished the book and was deeply touched by it. At the same time I discovered that it had recently won the Canada Reads competition! So I felt very affirmed in my choice of what to read next!

In 1982, off the coast of Newfoundland, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank, losing 84 souls in a night storm. ‘February’ is the story of Helen O’Mara, one of those left behind when her husband Cal drowns. This fictional account focuses on one woman’s struggle and loss, raising four children on her own. It is beautifully written, raw and heartfelt; so honest and down to earth and never errs on the side of sentimentality. If good literature is meant to get you inside another person’s skin, then this one hits the mark. Though not plot-driven, the book is very human and real, and uplifting even though much of it deals with grief. I liked the skillful way in which Moore beautifully captures small ordinary moments. Highly recommended, a very enjoyable read.