Okay, so I love books and bookish goods and I especially love Book Subscription Boxes. Just think of it! Once a month, you’re shipped an entire box of bookish goodies. It’s like Christmas except it comes once every month instead of once a year. It sounds perfect, right? There are so many subscription boxes that you should be able to find one that’s tailor-made for you and your interests. There’s just one little problem… They tend to only be great value if you’re an American.
I don’t know what it is between me and books about strange families. Whenever I hear that a novel that I’m going to be reading has an unusual family structure, I’m chomping at the bit to read it. It may be simply that the world is a messy place and a family that has an unusual shape seems more real to me than the nuclear family that I had shoved down my throat when I was a kid. Or it might just be that there’s a mystery to unusual families that isn’t there with conventional ones. There’s a need to figure out how the different pieces of the family fit together to form a family unit which adds a depth to the proceedings that comes naturally.
Enter stage right: Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald.
I’m a big fan of weird families living in a world filled with magical realism. Looking at my favourite novels, many of them have unusual families as their feature. While Canadian novels have often been dismissed as novels about farms and prairies, I’ve never found that to be the case. Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s novel, The Spawning Grounds, is a beautifully written narrative set in the Shuswap region of British Columbia. Strange and delightful, the book was enough to have me looking up at the moon as I walked the streets of Toronto and trying to find some new source of magic within it.