Review: Y: A Novel by Marjorie Celona
Marjorie Celona’s debut is a stunning work, hauntingly paced and meticulously crafted. There’s a self-certainty to her prose that leaves a profound mark on the reader, and her wonderful, sad, enchanting young heroine only amplifies the significance of the story. Shannon is remarkable in every way, the sort of character that will leave a lasting impression on the reader. At times bitterly sad, other times charmingly witty, Shannon’s narrative holds the reader in an unflinching, riveted curiosity. With wisdom and sarcasm well beyond her age, she examines her life as well as her mother’s, the events that led to her birth and the many heart-rending fragments afterward, all dogged by the same daunting question: why? From her relationship with her adoptive sister to an ill-advised attempt to run away, Shannon dissects her life decisions with extraordinary insight and honesty. She becomes a friend to the reader, somewhat distant but all heart, as her story is explored, intertwined with the fateful plight of her pregnant eighteen year-old mother, sixteen years in the past.
I was moved, quieted, and deeply fascinated by Y and Celona’s beautiful writing; this is a writer whose career I look forward to following. The boldness with which she conceived her story is utterly admirable, as is the fearlessness with which she handled several unhappy topics. Everything about Y manages a chilling but brilliant picture in the reader’s mind, and Celona softens all of the book's supporting characters just enough for the astonishing mind of Shannon to come into its full glory at the novel’s center. The Canadian backdrop of both city and wilderness are depicted with both a subtle grace and impacting detail that illuminates every corner of the novel. Y is, as a result, an affecting story and a striking example of the art of literature at its finest.
Title: Y: A Novel Author: Marjorie Celona Genre: contemporary literature, drama Publisher: Free Press Release date: January 8, 2013 Source: Free Press (C/O) Buy the book: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble Connect with the author: Website | Facebook