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This epistolary novel is a meditation on grief and mourning. It is low key, told in fragments and the more powerful for this episodic manner of exposition. At age twenty-five a man commited suicide and his father is thereafter haunted by this death.

Come back.jpg

Most of the story is told backwards as the father remembers his immediate efforts to understand the suicide by reading and re-reading every word his son left in letters, in noteboooks, in grad school assignments, anything else he can find.

This quest is sometimes played out before a chorus of one, Owl, his Cree, coffee-drinking friend.

It is set in Edmonton Alberta and the characters are Mennonites, very serious and spiritual people, from the vast prairies.

Wiebe.jpg Rudy Wiebe

I used to see Wiebe on campus in grad school, and read one of his earlier novels at that time, 'Peace shall destroy many.' It was memorable. Much of this novel seems near the bone, almost autobiographical.

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