Cape Breton Road

Cape Breton Road

Book - 2000
Average Rating:
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This is the story of Innis Corbett, a young man born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, into a Highlander community whose inhabitants are held by ties of memory and blood. As a child Innis went with his parents to live in Boston. After his father was killed in a car accident, Innis was raised by his mother, a woman with a weakness for men and drink. When Innis gets into trouble over a series of car thefts, he is deported back to Canada, a fate worse than prison, in his eyes. Innis ends up livingwith his Uncle Starr amidst the harshly beautiful landscape that has shaped his family and that both absorbs and challenges him. He takes refuge in the wild, dense woods, where he devises a plan to grow marijuana. This venture relieves his loneliness and gives him something to care for, a secret of his own. Then Claire, an attractive former flight attendant nearing 40, enters the Starr household. So begins an entanglement that leads to suspicion, jealousy, and ultimately to violence. Cape BretonRoad is an exceptional novel by a writer with an unerring eye for landscape and tragedy that is bred in the bone.
Publisher: New York : Harcourt, c2000
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780151005239
0151005230
Characteristics: 288 p. ; 22 cm

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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 22, 2014

For admirers of Alistair McLeod or Cormac McCarthy, D. R. MacDonald has written a stunning first novel. Set in rural Nova Scotia during the 1970’s, the characters in this story have a spareness to them that highlights their isolation. Innes, who has been deported from the United States for stealing cars, is living with his Uncle Starr while he gets back on his feet. The entanglement that ensues when Claire enters their lives results in a tense denouement that may or may not end in violence.

ColinSick Nov 07, 2013

The only fair comparison to Alastair McLeod is in the subject matter. In their writings both evoke an atmosphere that presents a visible thread to the past which tends to have a secure grip on the characters. Although the plot is average, D.R. is successful in portraying the land and its traditions as strong viable entities that steer the narrative to its denouement. As said, McLeod does the same, only better.

j
jbeckber
Jan 08, 2012

I was expecting something akin to Alastair Mcleod I suppose, but this was only similar in that it involved Scottish-Canadians on Cape Breton Island. The story was about a young man who was born on Cape Breton, and grew up in Boston. He returns to Cape Breton to live with an uncle after he runs into trouble with the law and is deported back to Canada. He is trying to start anew but feels trapped by the past and the present. I just didn't find it interesting.

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