On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light

On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light

A Novel

eBook - 2016 | 1.
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Harriet is 11 going on 30. Her mixed-media art is a source of wonder to her younger brother, Irwin, but an unmitigated horror to the panoply of insufficiently grown-up grown-ups who surround her. She plans to run away to Algonquin Park, hole up in a cabin like Tom Thomson and paint trees; and so, to fund her escape, she runs errands for the seniors who inhabit the Shangrila, the decrepit apartment building that houses her fractured family. Determined, resourceful, and a little reckless, Harriet tries to navigate the clueless adults around her, dumpster dives for the flotsam and jetsam that fuels her art, and attempts to fathom her complicated feelings for Irwin, who suffers from hydrocephalus. On the other hand, Irwin's love for Harriet is not conflicted at all. She's his compass. But Irwin himself must untangle the web of the human heart.
Publisher: Toronto : ECW Press, 2016.
Edition: 1.
ISBN: 9781770908673
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (365 pages)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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EKGO Aug 24, 2016

Here I am, swimming against the tide of popular opinion.
I didn't enjoy this story as much as others have.

It's split into two parts: eleven-year-old Harriet's story and her little brother Irwin's tale. I liked Irwin's story far better than Harriet's but didn't understand the necessity. I would have been fine had the book ended with Harriet.

This is a Hobbesian tale (not really) in that it's bleak and mostly hopeless, showing the day-to-day struggles of downtrodden human beings. Everyone in this story is solitary, poor, and even brutish and while Harriet's unique artist's perspective is good for a laugh here and there, the amount of quirk crammed into each chapter makes her peculiarities less charming and more of a chore to read.
I wound up feeling bored through much of her trials and tribulations to find love and acceptance among the adults in her life.

Irwin's perspective is refreshing just because it's something different, though, really, it's not. He's also struggling to find love and acceptance, he's caught between his older and younger sisters, and his life is also solitary, poor, and somewhat brutish, as well.

Getting through this was tedious but almost worth it for the last chapter. I felt it ended well, on the one note it had been trying to achieve the entire time.

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