* LIKE *
What an odd read!!!
The antithesis of a thriller!
There are no surprises in this. You know from the opening sentence that is parents are going to rob a bank. You know that his mother is going to commit suicide in jail. You know that there are going to be murders. You know in advance that his sister is going to run away. You know that he is going to Canada.
Maybe some books are like a river tumbling down from the mountains - face paced, gathering speed, sweeping all along on its rush to the sea. But this is a book like a lazy stretch of water on the coastal plain - meandering, backtracking, some parts stagnant, some parts eddying around obstacles, languid. I can't even say this narrative is a "slow reveal" because it is all there, teasing the reader to dip their toes in the water to find the depths of the narrative.
There were many times when I wanted to shake Dell and have him take a more active role in his own life. To me it wasn't a coming-of-age story because Dell never took this responsibility. It had a stronger flavour of we-are-who-we-are and the impact of parenting. Dell seemed to be just an observer ... too remote from his feelings to even be described as melancholy ... maybe pathologically innocent would be the closest.
It is calm, detailed, teasingly repetitive, bleak, engrossing and annoying!