Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Enon by Paul Harding

After the sudden death of his preteen daughter Kate, Charlie Crosby slowly falls apart right before our eyes. As his bright mind turns in on itself, folding over, returning, and twisting his too-short time with Kate, we watch with increasing horror as he barely notices life unspooling around him.

Harding's known for his lyricism, and this literary novel is thoughtfully, subtly crafted. Charlie's a smart guy, and the way Harding depicts his mental wanderings and near-hallucinations is really a thing of beauty: we're right there with him, and even at his worst the reader understands, empathizes, and follows Charlie into the deepest depths.

It's a novel to savor - not one to gulp down in a sitting - although its dark, raw nature sometimes made it hard to want to pick up again. Ultimately, the time is worth the trouble. This is a wonderful book, and a unique, poetic look at grief and death and life.

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