The Shipping News, written by Annie Proulx, tells a story of the rebirth of Quoyle, a man suffering after the tragic loss of his wife Petal. Quoyle takes his family; two small daughters and aging Aunt, back to Newfoundland and the family home. The Green house on Quoyle’s point, dragged their by the Quoyle family across the ice, in what sounds like a previous attempt by the family to start over. A move that left the house not quite true.
In many ways the house represents the family’s fresh start, not quite right, and always at risk of toppling over into the sea. Quoyle, struggles with many things on this journey, being father to two little girls, and his developing relationship with Wavey Prowse.
The knots in the story tell their own tale and overall the author winds the reader on a magical discovery of Newfoundland and what it offers.
For me a few of the plot elements felt unresolved, and at least once I felt the story got a bit far fetched, but on many levels it resonated with me, and like all good novels, I was unable to put it down and took away a lesson or two.
Recommend picking it up
Annie Proulx, born August 22, 1935 Norwich CT. Has a Master Arts Degree from Sir George Williams University. She is credited with nine novels and short story collections including The Shipping News, That Old Ace In The Hole and Close Range – which formed the basis of the film adaptation of Brokeback Mountain. In 2012 she received the United States Artist Fellow Award. In 1994 she received the Pulitzer for The Shipping News.