Tuesday 30 June 2009

No Sensible People: A Wonderful Piece of Fiction

My Review of No Sensible People by Gretchen Lee Bourquin

What happens when the past catches up with you?
Just one of the questions the outstanding novel No Sensible People asks of the reader.
This appealing book presents its story in an engaging style, from the point-of-view of several different characters. This approach presents a fuller perspective on both the narrative and the characters, without losing any flow or causing reader confusion. It works superbly as a character driven story, blossoming into a bittersweet, tangled tale of awkward intertwined lives.

At its heart the book is a family drama, one that is both intimate and engrossing. It begins with two deaths that leave poor Jennie Halifax an orphan and makes her married Aunt Lucy her guardian. Jennie would far rather stay with family friend Denny Ferguson in her small town home, yet she has no choice but to move to the big city to live with her aunt. Lucy’s life too, is thrown into disorder by the deaths and the sudden presence of Jennie, as well as the arrival of Denny, Lucy’s old flame. These events bring past secrets bubbling to the surface, and make everyone face current problems head on.

“She walked into the kitchen and spotted me sitting at the table. She didn't say anything. She stared at me the way any nine year old would stare down reality coming to take her away.”

I found the book a realistic view of a family, complete with complicated problems, dysfunctional relationships, genuine connections and feelings. The layers from past and present are slowly peeled away to show you the characters, while giving enough to connect with them and care about their troubles; the reader is provided a remarkable panorama of life. I also found the ending satisfying, never wrapping everything in a happy little bow, yet still giving the sense the characters and their lives had concluded a difficult chapter.

“Aunt Lucy and Uncle Frank went silent as if an electric cord controlled them and I had pulled it from the wall. Uncle Frank went to the closet for his coat and walked out the door. Aunt Lucy went to the kitchen and poured herself a glass of wine. I went to my room to draw.”

I usually don’t read a great deal of general fiction, tending to favour genres like mystery or fantasy, but I am glad I read this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read a high-class, wonderful novel.

The book is available on Amazon.com:
No Sensible People

And at Lulu.com:
No Sensible People


Sheila Deeth said...

Nice review. I've been experimenting (unsuccessfully) with multiple points of view, so it's nice to read that someone has done it right. I love the quotes you picked out. Sounds really interesting.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting book, which means you wrote a good review. I sure can't -- I have about six books sitting here, but can I think of anything interesting to say about these very interesting books? Noooo. Maybe I should send them to you!

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