Hear those sleigh bells ringing; see that snow drifting, delicately decorating our world in winter white. What better time to curl up with a creamy cup of coffee or (better!) a fat glass of rich, red wine, a cozy throw, and a delicious book.
Here’s a look at the latest reads the LOL, a Kelowna book club, has enjoyed. Join us in Okanagan Woman (and online at shannonlinden.ca) for more reviews and recipes from our delectable meetings.
The Best Kind of People
By Zoe Whittall
An award-winning novel by a Canadian author, this book was short-listed for the 2016 Giller prize and was a National Post and Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year. I was impressed by the accolades; drawn to the premise.
George Woodbury wins teacher of the year, every year, at the affluent prep school where he works. He makes science interesting but moreover, he is the town hero who once saved students—and his own daughter—from a gunman intent on a killing rampage. That’s why everyone is in shock when George is arrested for sexual impropriety involving a number of young women.
While George is locked up, awaiting trial, the book tells the story of the fallout for his stunned family. His wife, an ER nurse, skids between denial and furry as townspeople turn their backs on her. His daughter, Sadie, goes from popular over-achiever to social pariah, while his son, Andrew, a lawyer working on his father’s defense, wrestles with his own painful past as a gay teenager coming out in a conservative town.
As Chatelaine magazine said, Nuanced to the end, Whittall’s novel achieves something that’s rare in real-life cases of sexual violence. She gives a voice to the ones we never hear from: those who are collateral damage.
The book starts out with a bang—quite literally—when it flashes back to George confronting the deranged gunman. Brilliantly writte