I’m engrossed in the novel, Swann by Carol Shields and because I am, it is moving slowly. I am eating up and treasuring every single word, especially where the character development is involved. In fact, the characters are so real to me that one day I found myself doing an internet search for the poet, Mary Swann. She is so elusive and Shields writes Mary’s life as an isolated woman in rural Canada, so believably. Mary Swann is someone the reader wants to know, especially as bits and pieces of her memory disappear…a journal…a dictionary…a photograph. For me these become symbols of her tragic and brutal ending. What motivates Mary to write? Where does she find the words? Poignant. Nostalgic. I absolutely celebrate the act of turning on my reading light, pulling up the covers and spending time with a good book!
Maggie Kawalerczak reviews Swann here…I think she is ‘bang on’ with this particular review. I chuckled as I read, In fact, if I may generalize, there is certain “Canadianness” to the material. This, I believe to be an accurate assessment of this ‘mystery’. I am consistently drawn to Canadian content and respond to regional settings (landscapes I know so well), the sorts of characters that reside in these settings and that particular style/expression of Canadian authors and their words. What is that particularity? The same goes for Canadian film, doesn’t it?
Mary Swann, herself, is an enigma. I am captivated by this book!