April 2011 by Knopf Canada
Source: ARC win from GoodReads
Beautifully written, hauntingly told, a New face of Fiction novel that in its storytelling and recounting of a multi-generational family story brings to mind Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude - and in its evocation of the mythic wilderness, Joseph Boyden's Three Day Road.
My grandfather lifted the cup of tea and blew on it again. We were waiting for him to speak, and like any good storyteller he savoured the anticipation, letting us dangle for just an extra moment. "I came back," he said "to introduce Stephen to his grandmother." "What?" My mother stared at him as if he had lost his mind. "Why have I come back to Sawgamet? Why now?" He looked at me. "I've come for your grandmother," he said. "I've come to raise the dead. This is Sawgamet, a mining boom town gone bust, a logging village where the cold of winter breaks the glass of the schoolhouse thermometer, where the dangers of working in the cuts are over shadowed by the dark mysteries lurking in the woods." Thirty years after his grandfather's pronouncement, Stephen, now a pastor with a wife and family, returns on the eve of his mother's funeral, to reconnect with the stories of his mythic grandfather and to confront the losses of childhood. Introducing a world of wonder and tenderness, a world where the monsters and witches of the woods are set against singing dogs and golden caribou. Touch is a haunting tale of three generations of love and loss in a town in Northern BC.
I was very excited to read this one as it was an ARC win from GoodReads...my first one!
I will start off saying that this was definitely not something I would normally read. However, I really enjoyed it. This is a true storytellers story. It reminded me of listening to my grandfather talk about his days as a young man and the adventures he lived. I found the whole reality of what this family lived through to be extremely fascinating. I think we all take for granted the many aspects of modern day life. I am not so sure I could handle everything that this family lived through. I found Alexi Zenter's writing to be beautiful and heartbreaking. My only complaint really? I found the bouncing back and forth between the generations to be a little distracting. There were many times I had to stop and think about who Stephen, the narrator, was talking about. I do recommend you do give this one a read though. It is a truly beautiful, fascinating, heartbreaking tale.