A NovelBook - 2008
Mayhem, murder and mothers - uncover Claudia's secrets and her story from Sweden to Spain to Canada and back. Are these events connected or are they coincidence? Full of fine writing, lovely natural imagery and witty insights, all rendered in the author's cool but evocative prose. Claudia is born in Sweden, to a Latvian mother and an absent, Italian, father. As a teenage girl in Sweden, she and her friends come upon a murdered classmate in a park. Their dispassionate response to this tragedy haunts Claudia for the rest of her life. When Claudia's mother meets and marries a Canadian doctor, they move to Winnipeg with him. She settles into a middle-class life in Canada, and even has a nose job. She reaches her early 20s, and decides on a trip to southern Spain. While there, she bumps into one of her school days circle of friends, who has become a party girl. Days later, Claudia discovers her friend and another woman on the beach, with their throats slit. Claudia and her companions are affected by this, one guy takes to even heavier drinking, another questions his faith in God. Claudia rushes back home to her safe Canadian life. Claudia's mother decides that she wants to return to Latvia, for the first time since she escaped as a war refugee. As they tour around Riga, her mother egresses back to the person she was before she was forced to leave. Claudia and her mother reconnect with family members who still live there, and Claudia arranges to take a troubled young niece back to live with her in Canada. As they are getting ready to return, Claudia's mother dies, and Claudia realizes that her mother never intended to return from the land of her birth. A beautifully written story of life, specifically Claudia's life, it will resonate with women of all ages.
Publisher: Regina, Sask. : Coteau Books ; Markham, ON : [distributor for] Canada & the US, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, c2008 .
Characteristics: iii, 343 p. : port. ; 22 cm.