The Shipping news by Annie Proulx

book cover

About the book

A darkly comic portrait of human life and possibility. Quoyle is a hopeless hack journalist working in New York. When his two-timing wife dies in a road accident, he retreats to his ancestral home on the coast of Newfoundland where he must confront the unpredictable forces of nature and society.

Reviewed by Queen Mary’s College Library Reading Group

We liked this book very much although some found it hard going at the beginning. It’s a large and complex novel incorporating themes of regeneration, redemption and the power of love to change people’s lives. The characters are diverse and most of the action is played out against a bleak Newfoundland, dominated by the sea. Some felt the role of the women characters to be rather passive but there are also some strong women like Agnis Hamm with her ability to overcome all kinds of hardships. There’s lots of humour in the novel too and much to think about and discuss.

Star rating: not given

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