The time has come to discuss our winter selection, The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. And I am so looking forward to talking with all of you about this award winning book.
If you know anything about my reading doorways (a term coined by Nancy Pearl and you can read more about what that means here) then you know that I am all about the setting of a book. I want to feel like I’m living inside the book. If the author is writing about food, I want to eat what they are eating. If the book is about The Battle of Gettysburg, I want to see the landscape in my head and feel like I’m right there. Here’s a fun fact you may not know: I started drinking dirty martinis because a character in a book I was reading drank them and I thought it sounded terrific.
I think Annie Proulx creates incredible setting in The Shipping News. The cold of Newfoundland, the roar and roughness of the ocean, the crappy motel room, the blue leather on the luxury yacht the aunt is going to reupholster, and Quoyle’s newsroom and even his station wagon are all examples of times when I felt like I was right there.
I’d like to know what you thought of the setting. What things stood out for you? Do you think the setting provides insights into the characters and their lives? Would you consider Newfoundland and the town of Killick-Claw another character? Do you think the story would be as effective if it were set somewhere else?
I look forward to reading (and hopefully responding) to your thoughts in the comments and I hope you will join us tonight for our zoom discussion, too. Be sure to check out Bonny and Kym‘s posts today as they will also be asking questions about The Shipping News.
We really do love having your Read With Us.