I could practically feel his hand reaching up through the page. The strongest relationships depicted here are those between fathers and their children, how their provision of unconditional love when threatened can provoke unstoppable passions and longings. But going home entails more than just his business; he has to contend with a troubled brother and with a memories elicited by a chance encounter with a woman he loved in university. Most of us have experienced the sort of emotional loss he deals with in the novel. Dennis Bock is a superb writer. I was aware of a sort of class difference, to speak with unaccented English. What would I have done? What kind of perception does that give us, and why does it matter to you as a writer? And while Holly evolves into the love of his life, he leaves her behind, too.
And by the time Nate spirals out of control, Charlie understands how fundamentally different a man is from his brother. To his surprise he is able to find some sort of family with his brother, long estranged and also recently separated, and the nephews he has never met, though it is clear t Charlie is a successful businessman living in Madrid with his wife and daughter when Isabel informs him shes been having an affair and their marriage is over. And it is here in Toronto that he re-establishes contact with his older brother, Nate, with whom he has a troubled relationship. There is a lot in this book for a group to talk about and it would be particularly fun for a group with men and women - so fun. As unsettling as this was, though, the idea of an alternative life opened up a world of possibilities for me.
To his surprise he is able to find some sort of family with his brother, long estranged and also recently separated, and the nephews he has never met, though it is clear there is trouble here too. It also sounded like a very different novel from his earlier ones, The Ash Garden and The Communist's Daughter that are both anchored in a historical context and that I liked very much. In spite of his need to keep his relationship with his 12 year old daughter strong, he heads home to Toronto to start a new branch of his language schools and to escape. A: There are a few crimes of the heart in my novel, not to mention a couple of literal crimes. I also thought it contained some very good writing about ideas of home and what constitutes family. Everything feels a bit muted and careful. Growing up, she said she was always at odds with the culture in her house and the culture out her front door, constantly adjusting to move between these two worlds.
But then just as quickly, the potential for conflict and character development is slotted away as quickly as possible into inconsequence,as if Bock were afraid to go for the really good bits. Going Home Again was well written, the characters were realistic and developed in a way that wasn't overwhelming. Charlie is reflective but also very pragmatic, and his concerns are real 21st century realities: marrying a women he met abroad and living with her in Spain, he finds that when the marriage ends, he has to 'go home again' to Toronto and leave his ex and 13 year old daughter behind. The sexual pairings necessary for propagation are dealt with summarily, and the true love is with the I started out thinking this was a thriller, a interlude filler. He has much to figure out: the breakdown of his marriage; a severed connection with his daughter; a tragic incident from his youth that sparks to life with the appearance of a former lover. After separating, somewhat amicably, from his wife, he moves from Madrid back to his native Canada to set up a new school, and for the first time in his life he forges a meaningful relationship with his brother, who's going through a vicious divorce. Not so much a thriller but an introspective look at relationships within family units.
Dennis Bock does a great job delineating the challenges that come from love, family ties, parental obligations, and powerful memories of friendship in Going Home Again. Charlie manages to make a fresh start in Toronto but longs for his twelve-year-old daughter, whom he sees only via Skype and the occasional overseas visit. But then just as quickly, the potential for conflict and character development is slotted away as quickly as possible into inconsequence,as if Bock were afraid to go for the really good bits. A: Well, like the main character in Going Home Again, his home is Madrid and Toronto. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Its only through his actions that he comes to see his brother hasnt really changed and isnt a nice person. Dennis Bock, whose novel Going Home Again is nominated for the Giller, grew up in Oakville, Ont. The story travels back and forth in time between a young Charlie and the now middle aged father of a twelve year old daughter who is newly separated from his Spanish wife. It is a page turner; however, the ending is not entirely surprising. It was a wonderful trip through 20 years of this man's life as he returns to his home I liked this book a great deal and had a couple of good conversations about it on the weekend with patrons. It was a wonderful trip through 20 years of this man's life as he returns to his home I liked this book a great deal and had a couple of good conversations about it on the weekend with patrons. Not only does it feature one maybe even two of those children peculiar to fiction who are both wise and able to articulate that wisdom in a manner far beyond their years, but in Nate Charles the narrator's brother , Bock gives us a wholly unsympathetic character and expects the reader to care about his 'disappearance' which is used to bookend the main story.
After two acclaimed historical novels, one of Canada's most celebrated young writers now goes contemporary with the vibrant story of a man taking stock of the shape his life has taken, and why, and what-as a husband, a father, a brother, and an uncle-his responsibilities truly are. It was a wonderful trip through 20 years of this man's life as he returns to his home town Toronto and gets to know his brother and nephews after years away. So why only three stars? This seems to me an astute meditation on what home is, what it means, and how important it is to go back to again. Bock is able to transport the reader deftly enough for all the intercontinental bounding and decade hopping, but a lack of critical information leaves the reader on hold through such scenes as a four-page, detail-clogged conversation over breakfast: She popped the toast in her mouth, chewed and swallowed, then sipped her coffee, while significant elements such as a brother's disappearance are barely dusted and Charlie's and Nate's orphaned status is a mere shadow in the past. For Charlie his journey home is much more complex and difficult than that. All of this happens quite organically, and touchingly, and Bock doesn't push the drama.
But I think youre right about the characters, especially the children the daughter, I hesitate to add, really annoyed me , and we never really get to know Bock, hes kind of two dimensional, but perhaps thats deliberate Charlie is not close to him and does not fully know him. The novel is narrated retrospectively by Charlie, who after almost two decades in Spain has come home to Toronto, where he hopes to expand the chain of language schools he runs and gain perspective on his foundering marriage. Instead of feeling the writer's hand reaching up through the page, though, I found myself completely unable to sympathize with the largely self-inflicted crises in the novel. The gu Well, I decided to let this one digest a little before writing my thoughts on it. It mentioned that it was a Giller Prize finalist and I thought that would be good enough. A few months after Charlie arrives, Nate goes missing on a sailing trip in Florida. Did you find the same thing growing up? This return trip separates him from his beloved daughter who has just reached the tender and important age of 13.
A brief meeting with his first girlfriend sends Charlie into a tailspin of memories as he deals with work and struggles to keep connected to his daughter. I lived in Madrid for five years as a young man, and I came to a point when I was very clearly living there, and it was time to make a decision: Is this my new home? Charlie Bellerose leads a semi-nomadic existence, traveling widely to manage the language academies he has established in different countries. I liked this book more than other reviewers because this is the way it struck me, not as a slapdash piece of fluff that others discovered. He was born in Canada Toronto to be exact , and went to university in Montreal. Well, whilst the novel is full of thoughts and insight and it flows beautifully with a convincing and consistent narrative voice, it isn't without its flaws. More often than not an idea fails to develop, a character withers, a story goes nowhere. Please confirm the information below before signing up.
Not only does it feature one maybe even two of those children peculiar to fiction who are both wise and able to articulate that wisdom in a manner far beyond their years, but in Nate Charles the This was the first time I've read Dennis Bock, and on the strength of it I've just ordered 'The Communist's Daughter'. The characters are all people we know, and we can recognize them also in ourselves. Charlie is a successful businessman living in Madrid with his wife and daughter when Isabel informs him shes been having an affair and their marriage is over. The protagonist is kind of a schmuck but not a compelling one. I gave her a spin and a hug. I started out thinking this was a thriller, a interlude filler.