Saturday 2 April 2016

The Forest Lover: Book Review

I am so glad this book came up in my book club.  I'd never heard of it before.  It is the fictionalized
account of Emily Carr's life, many of her travels and her paintings.  As someone who has recently moved to her neck of the woods, I luxuriated in the author's descriptions of British Columbia.

I was also greatly impressed by the quality of Susan Vreeland's writing and research.  I think it would be easy to get stuck in relaying the many facts of Carr's history, especially given the amount of writing and artwork Carr left behind.  However, Vreeland does not get bogged down in giving a fact-by-fact description of Carr's life, but is instead free to create and imagine what it was like to be Carr and to see and feel her life.

Vreeland also weaves incredible relationships between Carr and others.  Some of these relationships are real while others are based on fragments of real relationships.  I was especially impressed by the way these bonds grow and change over time.  This is real writing skill; to make human connections in fiction seem entirely believable.

I really enjoyed this peek into Carr's world.  Vreeland has create a book to be applauded.

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