Ellen and Adam are struggling to determine the future of their relationship. Over the course of one summer, Ellen toils at a trendy urban art gallery while Adam embarks on a solo trip into the Arctic. While Adam enters the compelling and dangerous wilderness alone, Ellen gains fresh perspective via the lens of a new-found collection of friends. Through alternating points of view, we see Adam's and Ellen's impressions of their partnership change, until the end of the novel when their worlds - and changed ...
Ellen and Adam are struggling to determine the future of their relationship. Over the course of one summer, Ellen toils at a trendy urban art gallery while Adam embarks on a solo trip into the Arctic. While Adam enters the compelling and dangerous wilderness alone, Ellen gains fresh perspective via the lens of a new-found collection of friends. Through alternating points of view, we see Adam's and Ellen's impressions of their partnership change, until the end of the novel when their worlds - and changed world-views - suddenly collide.
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 2006 Reed Business Information.
In this first novel, Ellen and Adam meet cute as undergraduates when they discover that they share a common birthday week. As their relationship develops, it turns out that they have little else in common. Adam thrives on nature in its purest form even campgrounds are too refined for him while Ellen's appreciation of nature doesn't extend far beyond its depiction on canvas. Over the summer, Ellen works the reception desk at a trendy Toronto art gallery; Adam casts about for a suitable MA thesis topic. Looking for a way out, he sets off alone for the Canadian north to spend two months canoeing in the wild, leaving Ellen at home, depressed and lethargic. This time apart tests them both, as Adam fights for elemental survival and Ellen's self-absorption turns into concern for others. Pick, a young Canadian poet (Question and Answer), offers a hip millennial romance that may tap the chick-lit crowd. Recommended for most public libraries. Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Kingston, Ont. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
A couple separates for the summer to ponder their relationship, among other things. Ellen and Adam are at a crossroads. Though they have been dating for years, they are just coming to understand their fairly sizable differences. Ellen, the product of an urbane, upper-crust upbringing, is pretty, practical and bored. Adam, solidly middle class, has no desire to ever own a suit or attend a function that would require him to do so. He is inspired by obscure philosophy, intellectual banter and, above all, nature. Ellen halfheartedly follows Adam to Toronto, where he is enrolled in a nebulous Master's program, and gets a job in an art gallery to pass the time while she dreams of an engagement ring. Meanwhile, Adam becomes close to Cara, a brash, brilliant lesbian he meets at school. When summer comes, Adam embarks on a solo 50-day paddling trip in the northern wilderness, leaving Ellen to fend for herself in the stiflingly hot city she has come to resent. It is a challenge for both-and one that will either save or end their teetering relationship. At first, Ellen is in denial, fantasizing that Adam will return ready to make a real commitment, but she finds herself swept up in a bustling social circle championed by an intriguing new coworker, Deborah, who is still haunted by a baby that she gave up for adoption years ago. Simultaneously, Adam, in the wilderness, fantasizes about a woman who would understand his relationship with nature, and tries to deal with his feelings for the two real women he has left behind-Ellen and Cara. Pick is adept at chronicling the details of a relationship in a believable way. But that's also her problem: We all have enough Adams and Ellens in our own liveswithout turning to fiction. Like a friend complaining about her love life, this novel, while resonant, is ultimately pretty boring.