Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Belong to Me: a novel

As my boyfriend remarked the other day, I have been nursing this one for a long time. Finally finished it last night, and it was well worth it.

There are a lot of plots going on in this book, and Santos juggles them all deftly. A boy raised without knowing the identity of his father, a woman dying of cancer, a best friend who learns to love in the midst of tragedy and a young couple eagerly welcoming a baby into their lives... It could have just ended up as a piecemeal, trite novel, but thankfully it doesn't. Santos is a talented poet, and her language and balance are perfect.

For example, isn't this lovely? "Dev loved talking to Clare, but all the time they talked, he looked at her and wondered what he had wondered before, about museum guards and Inuits: how you got used to so much beauty or if you ever did. Like how a person could just go about his ordinary life--salmon fishing, dogsled driving, or whatever--with the northern lights hanging in the sky above his head." (311)

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