the corrosive affect of secrecy on three generations of a prominent Cape Breton family
If I thought for a moment we had achieved true equality in North America, I would question the need for women’s studies, women’s history, women’s writing prizes. If I thought that, I’d be writing about McKay’s novel as a curiosity, one no longer relevant, like so much of the 1800s. Cultural rules don’t change that fast. But they do change.
Several contrasting themes are debated throughout the plot, such as being a single parent versus marrying someone you don’t love, arranged marriages and love-based matches, setting Sri Lankan customs beside Canadian ones, overcoming challenges vs. succumbing to them. Priya is writing for a New Age magazine; Suresh is a journalist for a Christian publication.
An autofiction novel is part hospital chronicle, part will – imagined as a series of documents distributed to friends on USB drives after her death. Gendreau’s style is magic realism of that which is anything but magical: Dollarama, hospital corridors, bland mushed-up food.
For those that like war-themed stories and don’t mind snippets of a love story, A Splendid Boy is a good read.
It is a book with a lot of character and a lot of questions, about trying to understand just where you came from, and where you might be going.
It is the story of Sylvia Pride, who reluctantly returns to rural Newfoundland for her cousin’s wedding after an extended stint in the big city.