Greenwood (Paperback, en-Latn-CA language, 2020, Scribe) 5 stars

2038. On a remote island off the Pacific coast of British Columbia stands the Greenwood …

a little bit monumental?

5 stars

A noticeable boundary arose, a couple of months ago, in the items delivered to me by the home library service. Sharp as between the rings of a trunk. Somebody new had started selecting loans for me.

Since that moment, Greenwood was the one I looked forward to most. Like many of its bagmates, I hadn’t heard of it, or its author, but the blurb held startling promise. I cored a few sentences from its heart, at random. Yes. They were striking. I would save this one, savour it.

Aside from the back third or so lacking the structural fullness of most of the novel — a slow and then hastening collapse which the format, together with the thematic content, primes the reader to anticipate, anyway — Greenwood did not disappoint in the least. Though not without occasional irritant (the typical occasion being an (at first glance?) unconvincing blow to proceedings by Gen X carpenter Liam Greenwood), the work was considerably more satisfying than I had hoped.

Christie, it turns out, is a transportative and lyrical writer, with an ornate sense of literary patterning, and I probably would have deeply enjoyed floating along on his prose for several hundred pages regardless of subject. It may have only helped that, while susceptible to the profound intercontinental resonance between settler‐colonial resource economies, I am ignorant about the actual currents–‐of‐the–times–in‐the–places where he set this saga; lightening the load of my potential scepticism and diminishing the barriers of expectation. It definitely helped that he writes landscapes gorgeously — especially of forests — dives and dips delicately among immeasurable distress and destruction, and set so much story along rail corridors and in the thick of the forming of found family, alongside its faltering.

But I really liked this one.

Content warning coupla major plot points depicted in the 2008 parts of Greenwood; reference to suicidality, macho-ablism