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Caribou Island by David Vann

Dysfunction Junction at its worst, but still a great read.

While trying to find the love that has slipped away, a couple sets out to build a cabin on Caribou Island. Irene and Gary have drifted apart over the years, both blaming the other for their unfulfilled lives. In an attempt to recapture the ideal that drew them to Alaska in the first place, Gary and Irene begin construction on an isolated, rustic cabin on Caribou Island. For Gary, this is a chance to finally live his life the way he always intended to live it. Irene sees the cabin as Gary’s way of leaving her behind, knowing full well that secluded cabin life is Gary’s dream and not hers. The cabin becomes a representation of their marriage; built without proper planning, materials, or foundation, and morphing into something uglier than either had ever envisioned. Like a psychological game of chicken, Gary and Irene forge ahead with construction, neither one wanting to be the first to give up on it or their marriage.
Caught in the middle is their adult daughter Rhoda. Watching her parents’ marriage fall apart before her eyes, Rhoda tries unsuccessfully to play peacemaker without much support from her brother or boyfriend. Rhoda’s own life seems stagnant and she must decide what kind of life she wants for herself.
Imagery abounds in this powerful novel of a husband and wife fighting the elements and each other as they speed toward ruin.

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Fiction | Leave a comment