Johanna Skibsrud won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for this compelling debut novel.
Napoleon Haskell lives in Casablanca, Ontario, on the shores of a man-made lake that covers the remains of the former town. When his daughter’s life unravels, she retreats to Casablanca and is soon immersed in the complicated family stories that lurk below the surface of everyday life.
I got this book because of the fact that it won the Giller Prize and there were much critical acclaim written about it. The author has a background writing poetry... and the book certainly reflects that upbringing. Sometimes the prose in the book feels like beautiful poetry that gives the story a level of depth. But the poetry style also works against the story in times... making it feel chopped up and awkward.
So in the end, the trait that makes the book refreshing and beautiful turned out to be its Achilles Heels as well.