Friday, March 16, 2007

Swiss Chalet, waiting for ribs and salad...and fries.

Black woman, early 30s, wearing a sleek, long coat, high boots and black-framed glasses.

The Perfect Circle, Pascale Quiviger (Cormorant Books)

Page 70:

The next day he wakes up around five. The rifle, the ammunition, and the dogs are ready, and the damp night encircles them like friendly arms they happily step into--and it's the same every day.

She's sitting on the porch, foot on the banister, rocking herself back in her wooden chair. She dangles a bottle of cream soda beside her. It's late afternoon, almost time for dinner. She waves to the next door neighbour coming to take a look at the cherry tree. She rents him the land for cattle. Today the bull arrived and everybody went out back, cameras ready, to see which cow he would pick. He picked the cherry tree, snapping it back like a toothpick. The cherry tree buried in someone's name. The neighbour rubs the back of his neck, inspecting the trunk, beyond repair. He knew the someone too. He'd rather this hadn't have happened. He nods to her and shrugs. She shrugs back. What can you do? He starts towards the porch then thinks better of it and begins to cross the field home minding he doesn't lose his step in a gopher hole. Beside the barn her daughter lies on the bench, legs up, arms outstreched, eyes shut, mouth open and smiling, perhaps imagining falling through the clouds, no chute, no landing. She straightens her chair and heads into the house to start the water for the potatoes, the screen door closing with the slam that always made someone jump.


mehnaz said...

i've read this book. Loved the post too :)

shannon said...

You're keeping track of how many Canadian books you've spotted people reading, yes? Don't forget to tag this one too! It's really good to see Canadians reading Canadian books!

shannon said...

Oh, forgot: I've read this book too, it's like narrative poetry, using words in a way that makes them seem not words. Can't explain. Read!

Julie Wilson said...

I bought the book after I'd done the research for this entry. I'm quite excited to dig into it! (Shannon, thanks for the catch. Giller nominee and all, bien sur, she's Canadian!)