Nikolski

Nikolski

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Overview

Spring 1989. Three young people leave their far-flung birthplaces to follow their own songs of migration. Each ends up in Montreal, each on a voyage of self-discovery, dealing with the mishaps of heartbreak and the twisted branches of their shared family tree.

Filled with humor, charm, and good storytelling, this novel shows the surprising links between cartography, garbage-obsessed archeologists, pirates past and present, a mysterious book with no cover, and a broken compass whose needle obstinately points to the Aleutian village of Nikolski (a minuscule village inhabited by thirty-six people, five thousand sheep, and an indeterminate number of dogs).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590307144
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 05/12/2009
Edition description: Original
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Nicolas Dickner won two literary awards for his first published work, the short story collection L’encyclopédie du petit cercle. Born in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, he traveled extensively in Europe and Latin America before settling in Montreal.

Read an Excerpt

Noah instantly fell in love with Cesar Sanchez’s old bike.
Standing on the pedals, with a firm grip on the rim of the basket, head down, he feels as though he’s sailing over the neighborhood. The hazards of the road disappear. No more traffic, no more one-way streets, no more driving regulations. All that remain are the landmarks stretched by speed: the Jean-Talon market, the St-Zotique church, an elderly man sitting on his bench, the statue of Dante Alighieri, the alternating butcher shops and shoe-repair shops, a tree-lined sidewalk.
The deliveryman’s job, which he initially viewed as dreary, suddenly seems to him like an ideal way to map out the neighborhood. Riding his bike, he constructs an aerial view of the territory—squares, alleyways, walls, graffiti, schoolyards, stairways, variety stores, and snack bars—and when he talks with the customers, he gathers intelligence on accents, clothing, physical traits, kitchen smells, and bits of music. Added together, the two catalogues make up a complex map of the area, at once physical and cultural.
He tries to transpose his observations onto a map of Montreal, but two dimensions are not enough to contain the wealth of information. Instead he would need a mobile, a game of Mikado, a matryoshka, or even a series of nested scale models: a Little Italy containing a Little Latin America, which contains a Little Asia, which in turn contains a Little Haiti, without forgetting of course a little San Pedro de Macorís.
For the first time in his life, Noah is starting to feel at home.

Reading Group Guide

1. Nikolski takes place over the course of a decade, 1989 to Christmas 1999, and the narrative often leaps over years at a time. What effect do these leaps in time have on your ability to relate to the characters, and on the novel as a whole? Why has Dickner chosen this trajectory?

2. Why is Noah's narrative developed more fully than Joyce's, or the unnamed narrator's? Discuss the interleaving technique Dickner uses to tell their stories.

3. Does Joyce change at all over the course of the novel? How so, or why not?

4. Discuss Noah, Joyce and the unnamed narrator's relationships - or non-relationships - with their parents and extended families.

5. In contrast to the three protagonists, who tend to be loners, Maelo exemplifies family and community support: finding jobs and rooms for all manner of newcomers, hosting jututo gatherings every Sunday, even setting Joyce up with his grandmother in the Dominican Republic. Why has Dickner given him this role in the novel?

6. Besides being Joyce's uncle, who left Tête-à-la-Baleine at age fourteen to roam the world, Jonas Doucet is the father of both Noah and the unnamed narrator. In what ways do memories of him pervade and guide the lives of our protagonists?

7. Discuss the notion of "trash archaeology" and what it says not only about the characters in Nikolski, but also about real life. Do you think it's possible to truly know a person based on what he or she throws away or keeps? Or a culture?

8. What makes the protagonists pick up, pare down and take off so many times in Nikolski? Does this nomadic tendency reflect reality, or a natural human need to move on, or just the urges bred into each of them as individuals?

9. Dickner goes to great lengths to juxtapose land and sea in this novel: there are nomads and pirates, wide prairies and wider oceans, and the sense that characters are more often lost or adrift than in control of their journeys. Discuss the ways Dickner evokes land and sea throughout the novel, and their respective pulls.

10. More than one critic has commented on the short chapter "Little Dipper" during which we as readers survey Joyce's abandoned room. No characters are present but a story is told - as Dickner puts it, "the character was the room itself." Discuss how such attention to the details of characters' lives, as opposed to the characters themselves, ties in with broader themes of the book.

11. Why does Joyce leave Montreal? What do you think she's going to do next?

12. In the end, our unnamed narrator decides to escape the "gravitational pull of books" and get rid of his possessions. Discuss how holding on to the past, whether in memories or in property, is treated in the novel - is it a positive or negative compulsion?

13. Why don't we ever get to know Arizna better?

14. Both the house on Margarita Island and the Doucet house outside Tête-à-la-Baleine serve as repositories of history - yet also as refuges. Talk about the significance of these houses to Noah and Joyce. We never learn the fate of the Margarita Island house after the floods, but the Doucet house falls into the ocean. What could that signify?

15. Talk about the significance of ancestry in the novel. Why do the ghosts of Noah's Chipewyan forebears hang around inside Sarah's trailer? Why does Joyce not care for her family in Tête-à-la-Baleine but obsess about the pirates on her mother's side? Why do a Bonneville station wagon called Grampa and an abandoned yacht named Granma appear here?

16. Why doesn't Noah travel back to the prairies and track his mother down at some point? Do you think he ever will?

17. What is the significance of Noah buying Simón every dinosaur book he can find in the bookshop, yet declining to buy back The Book With No Face (and just handing over the Caribbean map page instead)? And why does our unnamed narrator just put it back in the bin?

Customer Reviews

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Nikolski 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
MayaP on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A short, lovely, inconsequential story about the interconnectedness of people, places and things. Three people move in and out of each other¿s lives, barely noticing each other on the rare occasions when their lives do touch.One was born on the road, one travels far from home, one never leaves the district of Montreal where he was born; all of them are linked by garbage, pirates, a battered book with no cover and a cheap plastic compass whose needle points unerringly to the tiny Aleutian Island town of Nikolski.The essence of these stories is the beauty of the small; fantastically detailed, perfectly observed and beautifully told, this is a delight of a book about the magic of the incidental, everyday stuff of life. Nothing much happens. No one goes to Nikolski.
cornerhouse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nikolski is the story of three people -- Noah, Joyce, and an unnamed narrator -- who each migrate in one way or another to Montreal and criss-cross the peripheries of each other's lives. This novel is really a collection of migrations, settlings, and further migrations, of love and loss, and of making a life out of an endless series of startings over.Noah comes to Montreal for college after having lived a rootless, nomadic existence with his vagabond mother. Joyce grows up in a small northern Quebecois village and escapes from the endless round of family ties and the drudgery of keeping house for her father. The unnamed narrator works in a second-hand bookstore and lives alone after the death of is mother, who was herself something of a nomad until she became pregnant and settled down to work in a travel agency and never travel.I read this lively novel in a single sitting one Sunday afternoon, completely enthralled with the shifting mix of stories, characters, and their fortunes. I'd be glad to read more of Dickner's work; I wonder if there's any more translated into English.I have, however, given this novel only 3.5 stars because the character development is a bit thin; the storytelling keeps this from being an entirely damning problem, but one is still left with the feeling that more background and motivation for their actions.
lriley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nicolas Dickner's 'Nikolski' follows three main characters and has the city of Montreal Quebec as its cental axis point despite the fact that everything--or the one compass points Northwest to the almost uninhabited Aleutian Island--Umnak at which the small village of Nikolski (population 30 some people) is situated. It is here where the father of one of those three above named characters--Noah was last known to have been. As with the other named characters the unnamed bookstore operator and Joyce Doucet who's ambition is to become a modern day pirate--as her great, great, great grandfather was back in the 17th century they all locate themselves in the same area of downtown Montreal presided over by said bookstore, Shanahan's seafood emporium and an apartment house. Though these three characters will associate with many of the same people their lives only ever glance over each other--momentarily now and again bumping against each other and passing on--whether in Montreal or even at Newark airport towards the end of the novel. Coincidental maybe--but unremarked about in their own lives. It is for the reader to see these coincidences--not for the characters. Joyce as a character also may be a test for some. Dickner as an author does not judge her--she is a hard worker at the seafood store. In her spare time--and with her ambition to become a modern day pirate--she uses computers and modern technology to steal the identities of others. Apart from that she is a normal, happy and outgoing and not dislikeable at all. Anyway the tone is always light, clever and mildly humourous and the book moves along nicely. Montreal may be where the book roots itself but in a sense the book is about rootlessness and how heredity and personal experience may work as to how people begin to view and/or create or re-create themselves. It's a light read though--not super-serious--a good one to take along to a beach this summer.
shimauta on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nikolski was a quick and enjoyable read. The characters, in search of an identity and calling, follow interesting and unexpected paths that cross accidentally from time to time. In contrast to the original story development, the characters themselves are not very well developed, and besides a few glimpses here and there, it is difficult to grasp their nature.
DieFledermaus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nikolski was an enjoyable book with a nice prose style ¿ low-key and humorous. However, I felt the pacing was off ¿ the multiple jumps in time and from character to character didn¿t allow for much overall development. The best chapters were the opening ones, which introduced all the main characters. The author chose an interesting narrative style ¿ a nameless first person narrator related his own story, which alternated with chapters describing ¿ in the third person ¿ the lives of two related characters, Noah and Joyce. The first person narrator actually had a much smaller role than the other two ¿ I would have preferred more from that narrator, since we actually get to hear his thoughts. His story is quite simple when compared to the Noah and Joyce ¿ his mother died, and in the opening he described his efforts to clean out her house and the questions that were left about his own history. He worked in a used bookstore ¿ skillfully described by Dickner ¿ and had only one reminder of his father ¿ a compass that pointed not to the north, but to Nikolski, a small village in the Aleutian islands. Noah¿s life, in contrast, was unstable and nomadic. He and his mother crisscrossed Canada in their trailer, occasionally contacting his father through letters sent at random. Noah¿s life started again in Montreal at college, where he crossed paths with a garbage obsessed archaeologist, an extended Dominican family and an elusive woman. Joyce, with an absent mother and a nearly absent father, was not much better off. Her inspiration centered on her family¿s long history of piracy, and at the first opportunity she left home to strike out on her own. Working at a fish shop by day, she moved into a different kind of piracy at night. The early chapters were well-written, funny and had just a hint of magic-realist-feel, what with ghosts, pirates and a truck-driving Lenin. As Joyce and Noah make the way to the city, the plot takes off, but I felt the book declined in quality slightly. The jumps in time led to some dialogue that was a bit too full of convenient information, and the short time spent describing a woman who takes on an important role in Noah's life means that readers can't really be invested in the relationship. However, I enjoyed the fact that, while there were some connections between the main characters, the author didn't make any obvious big dramatic scenes between the three. Overall an enjoyable read - since I liked the author's writing style and humor, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any further novels.
rmckeown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Searching for a word to describe this book, many flood my mind ¿ peculiar, odd, quirky, interesting (yes, most definitely interesting), and, well, I guess they all fit.The story is of three people: an unnamed narrator who works in a book shop, who only occasionally pops into view; a man named Noah, who has lived most of his life in a trailer wandering all over Canada with his mother, wondering about his father who disappeared shortly after his birth, leaving behind a plastic compass (the ¿Nikolski Compass¿) and a handful of letters; and a woman named Joyce who runs away to Montreal in search of her pirate ancestors, lands a job in a fish shop, and becomes a pirate (of sorts) herself. These three characters intersect in odd (there¿s that word again) but decidedly interesting ways. Each seems to have a piece of a giant puzzle which centers around a book with no covers. The book store clerk calls it a ¿unicum¿ ¿ a term which does not appear in any dictionary or book about books I have. He describes it as a book cobbled together from three different sources and sewn together.I am going to leave it at that. If this isn¿t enough to whet your appetite, you need a new appetite, and why are you reading a book blog? 5 stars--Jim, 8/10/09
neringros on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable and refreshing read, masterfully written (I read it in english translation). I usually like the stories (in both books and movies, actually) where you feel like you are running out of time - there is so much more to discover or questions to answer. This book leaves that lingering feeling - makes you think and contemplate possible outcomes of events. The story follows three seemingly different characters through Canada and beyond trying to find their own way in life. (But no "blame the parents" attitude.)There are other interesting threads in this well-woven tale - the book, the compass and chance encounters as well. I was not particularly interested in the whole radical archaeology string, but it didn't spoil the book for me, just served as entourage.Highly recommend this one for anyone.
thesecretllama on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I believe Nicolas Dickner to be the love child of Chris Van Allsburg and Thomas Pynchon. Nikolski is as unpretentious as pure imagination could be, but at its heart is convolution and curiosity. This is no mere pirate story, it is a Cerberus of sea tales that aren't really tales of the sea. It is foundationally about the relationships and interactions of three characters, three artifacts, and three stories that converge into and away from one another time and again.The nameless (as nameless as Herman Melville would like him to be) narrator is as much a character as Noah and Joyce. All three are raised in similar circumstances and each hold an item that drives them further into their own lives. One item is a compass that doesn't point North as much as it points to a town called Nikolski. Noah has his coverless book frequently called the "Three-Headed book" that is as much an amalgam as the novel itself is. Joyce has a newspaper article that thrusts her further and further into piracy.Just like Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49 is an anti-dectective story, so is Nikolski an anti-sea adventure story. The imagery is surreal, the characters quirky, and the story truly compelling. Dickner is already on my list of must reads.
Stronghart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is not my cup of tea. Well, let me restate that.Perhaps I like coffee. The reader will need a quiet place to read this very imaginative book. He or she will need to sit down, take several deep breaths, relax, and then perhaps the reader will be ready to burrow into the world created by the author. Three protagonists come from places far away and their lives make contact. All three need to find their own world, away from the place from which they have come. Each uses a different method. In a sense of course, each holds onto his birthright. And in their search for their particular reality each discovers that it was theirs to find before they home. Thomas Wolfe may have posited that "You can't Go Home Again," but not in this book. Home is within ourselves. More like Eliot who wrote, "Put your shoes at the door, sleep, prepare for life.¿ Or that for all our exporations we find that the road always leads back to home.
lmgrim on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful book about family, coincidence, and communication across cultures. At the same time it's about pirates, indigenous peoples, trash, and travel. What's not to like?When I began reading I was afraid that it would be precious, but the well developed characters truly lead interesting lives and its impossible not to get caught up in their stories. If this is emblematic of contemporary Canadian fiction, I want to read more. and I will definitely look for Dickner's short story collection.
kbuxton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Three somewhat aimless, but fascinating, characters and a somewhat aimless plot come together for a fun read. I look forward to future novels by Dickner.
baubie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first word that comes to mind when I think of reading this book is "relaxing". It follows the lives of 3 people who all, through some means or other, end up in Montreal. Their lives lightly brush up against each other but never truly entangle. Furthermore, the novel doesn't really have a climax or anything exciting happen, and yet, I looked forward to reading the next chapter every time.
SooGuy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Winner of the 2010 Canada Reads contest hosted by CBC I was intrigued by the setting and premise. Opening in 1989 with three young people from very different backgrounds who leave their familiar surroundings to go on their on journey of discovery that takes them to Montreal where their paths converge however tangentially. I loved Quebec author Dickner's prose that shines through with the guidance of Lazer Lederhendler's translation. Part Kurt Vonnegut yarn and part Chuck Palihnuik fable, I was raving to everyone within shouting distance how much I was enjoying the book while I was reading it.BUT - I found Dickner chickened out with his ending the character paths continuing to the horizon with little or no resolution. Just a new direction. Sure that's how life actually is, but after we invested in these characters as readers we want some more resolution.Sequel maybe? Enjoyed it but have a hard time recommending it knowing others may be equally disappointed with the resolution.
Naisy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book initially difficult to get into, but it was interesting and kept my interest to the end. I think I would need to read it again to uncover more about the characters and the events that link the three of them together.
twochris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a bit strange, but it follows the life a a few different characters who are all pirates. I found it funny and although the characters are odd, they are still believable.
gypsysmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maybe this book will grow on me. It may just be quirky enough to win Canada Reads but I can't say I'll put it as one of my favourites. The following comments contain spoilers so read no further if you haven't read the book.The title refers to a small town (village or hamlet may be more appropriate) on an island in the Aleutian peninsula. It was the site of one of the Distance Early Warning (DEW) line outposts established during the Cold War. It's the place where Noah's father, Jonas Doucet, ended his travels. Jonas is also the father of the part-time narrator of the story. And Jonas is probably Joyce Doucet's uncle or cousin. Noah, Joyce and the narrator come together in Montreal in the 1990's. The narrator has always lived in Montreal but Noah was raised on the prairies with his peripatetic mother driving an old car and trailer from place to place. Joyce grew up on the island of Tete-a-la-Baleine but ran away from the island to discover what happened to her mother. She wants to be a pirate like her ancestors but she settles for working in a fish shop in Montreal to pay her rent until she gets the pirate gig going. Noah has come to attend university (never mind that he has never gone to school -- that's just an insignificant detail I guess) and he intends to study archeology. He ends up sharing rooms above the fish shop with one of the owners. The narrator is a clerk in a used book store in the same neighbourhood. Their paths cross all the time but the three never seem to discover their shared origins.Noah is the first of the trio to leave Montreal. He goes to live with his lover, Arizna, on a small island off Venezuela and help care for their son, Simon. Abruptly he has to take Simon and leave the island when it appears Arizna's grandfather may be bringing the law down on them. He returns to Montreal with Simon after spending some time in the Newark airport. There his path crosses Joyce's who is also fleeing from the law. When he gets to Montreal one of the first places he goes is to the book store to buy dinosaur books for Simon. The narrator serves him, perhaps one of his last customers because he has decided it is time to leave Montreal. The narrator has been cleaning out his apartment and has brought to the store some of his books. One of them is the curious book that is an amalgam of three books with no cover. Noah sees the book and instantly recognizes it as the one that his father left behind and which he brought to Montreal with him. In a more predictable novel this would be the time the half brothers discover their relationship but not in Nikolski. Noah just fishes out the map that was originally part of the book and gives it to the narrator. THE ENDThe mysterious book is a metaphor or perhaps a guide for the three main characters. The first book portion is a study on treasure hunting which could be likened to archeologists digs and is perhaps why Noah chose archeology as his field of study. The second portion is a historical treatise on pirates of the Caribbean. That is certainly meant for Joyce who read that section in the narrator's apartment the night before she left Montreal. The final portion is from a biography of Alexander Selkirk who was shipwrecked on a Pacific island and whose exploits inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe. The unnamed narrator could be likened to Alexander perhaps since he has been stuck in one spot with very little human interaction.There is a recurring theme of garbage in Nicolas. In the prologue the narrator is cleaning out his mother's bungalow and has thrown out 30 garbage bags. Joyce goes dumpster diving to find computers and computer parts to patch together a working computer so that she can commit her twentieth century piracy. Noah's thesis advisor is an acknowledged expert on the archeology of garbage and Noah himself would like to do his thesis in this field. What gets thrown out by people is sometimes all we have to go on to figure out how they lived. There is also the
TheBookJunky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent. Loved it. A narrative that skitters around, touching down on explanations and descriptions, then takes flight again and moves on, without sentiment for the telling detail. Marvelous. Chose the book after it won the CBC radio program ¿Canada Reads¿. This one must have deserved its win, just from sheer originality and freshness of voice.
LynnB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Several days after finishing this novel, I'm still thinking about it and discovering more about the story. This really is a deceptively simple but amazing book.What I am still discovering is what the book is about. Because it is about a lot of things: nurture vs nature, and how we are shaped by our history. It's about home -- what is means and where it is. It's about the impact absent parents have on their children. It's about family. And about pirates, a compass, and a book with no face.This is the story of three young people. A nameless narrator who works in a bookstore and treasures a compass that points unerringly to a small town called Nikolski where his father was last known to live. His half-brother Noah (although they don't know of each other) who was raised by his mother in a trailer criss-crossing the central Canada after she lost her Indian status and her right to live on the reserve. And their cousin Joyce (again, the characters don't know of each other) who was abandoned by her mother and descended from pirates. The three arrive in Montreal around the same time, and the story tells of their lives.The writing is very strong, with good descriptions of the characters and a keen sense of humour. The ending was not at all what I expected -- I could never have made it that perfect!
lasomnambule on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In all fairness, Nicolas Dickner's first novel Nikolski sounds like my kind of book--a disjointed novel populated by twenty-somethings, lost in themselves and in their country, orbiting around each other's stories and lives in a series of chance meetings and coincidences. Better yet, it's by a Canadian author and--in translation!--which tends to indicate success more than failure for me.Perhaps having just read Patrick White's masterful novel Voss, which deals with similar themes of wandering and the meaning of place in the setting of a colonial outpost, detracted from my enjoyment of Nikolski. While an experienced reader does sense that Dickner is a masterful, creative storyteller who deeply understands the impact of myth, he's got a lot to learn about what makes a novel compelling, readable, and timeless.Frankly, for lack of a better scapegoat, I think it's Dickner's characters. I don't find Noah or the unnamed narrator particularly compelling, and I actively dislike Joyce. They don't breathe, they don't live; they're automatons acting out Dickner's narrative agenda. Again, in all fairness, one might lay some blame on translation itself--perhaps dumpster diving escapades just don't translate well into English.I'll seek out Dickner's next novel, and hope it is also translated and made available in the U.S., because I see in Nikolski a vast potential for greatness. Maybe in a second novel, theoretical gymnastics can be bypassed in favor of life and lyricism, and readers can enjoy a book that's good to read, rather than simply too smart for its own good.(2.5 stars/5)
Rubbah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Extremely readable, I managed to finish this in one afternoon. Nikolski is about 3 people, Noah, Joyce and one unnamed character who all live in Montreal and are all related unknowingly. Coincidences and chance meeting mean they all come loosely into contact with each other, several times, never knowing that the family they are all seeking is so close. I really enjoyed this, and would reccomend it to anyone who wants a quirky interesting read.
Scrabblenut on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Usually I like books with quirky characters, but not this time. I am surprised that this book won the Canada Reads competition, because there were far better books in the running, such as Good to a Fault, by Marina Endicott, and Generation X, by Douglas Coupland. Nicolski was about the lives of three people, and was mildly interesting, but not compelling at all. The author did not make me care about these characters, and the story was boring.
blakefraina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some books make you feel; other books make you think.Nicolas Dickner¿s clever debut, Nikolski, definitely falls largely into the latter category. As a matter of fact, it still has me turning over its intricacies in my head months after I¿ve finished it. This tightly woven tale is packed with ideas that challenge customary thinking about the nature of personal identity. Dickner asks if who we are is a result of nature or nurture, genealogy or geography, or, perhaps, a combination of all four.Early in the story, we are introduced to the three main characters, all distantly related, although not necessarily aware of one another¿s existence. They are the unnamed narrator ¿ a second hand bookshop clerk who is in possession of a compass that always points in the direction of Nickolski, a tiny Aleutian Island, Noah - son of an itinerant Native American mother and absentee father who learned to read from roadmaps and Joyce - restless young woman descended from a family of French-Canadian pirates. The three stories unfold in alternating chapters as each begins a pilgrimage to unearth their family connections, seek their place in the world, establish their destinies and find themselves.Like the Nickolski compass, the writer postulates that all people have a built-in homing instinct. A family of Dominican fishmongers, who rent a room to Noah and employ Joyce in their retail shop, despite being long time residents of Canada, hold a monthly ¿jututo¿ to enjoy their native foods and boisterously debate Dominican politics. And humorously, we see how Joyce (and her erstwhile mother) inadvertently fall into a twentieth century version of the family business - as computer pirates. Ties to place, ethnicity and family not only dictate our actions, but define who we are.This was a deceptively easy and enjoyable read. There was a certain sense of mystery, plus a fair bit of suspense, that pulled me along until the end. It¿s particularly impressive to see how the author weaves all the threads together. Much like the ¿three-headed book¿ that passes through the hands of both Noah and Joyce, before ending up on the bookstore¿s shelves, Dickner manages to stitch three disparate stories into one cohesive, and endlessly captivating, whole. Definitely one of a kind.
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