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The Sentimentalists: A Novel by Johanna…
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The Sentimentalists: A Novel (original 2009; edition 2011)

by Johanna Skibsrud

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3943340,540 (2.82)70
Member:HartHouseLibrary
Title:The Sentimentalists: A Novel
Authors:Johanna Skibsrud
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2011), Hardcover, 208 pages
Collections:CF (Canadian Fiction), Your library
Rating:
Tags:CF SKI, family, Ontario, war

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The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud (2009)

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
I was excited to discover this book. A very tidy dust-jacketed hardcover with winner of the Scotiabank Giller prize printed on it. I had great expectations of it, which it failed to meet.
I liked the premise of the story - a young woman trying to understand her father in the final months of his life. He had been absent for large parts of her and her sister's lives and had battled alcoholism. The outcome is that he is suffering PTSD following his experiences in Vietnam as a marine.
However, the story meanders all over the place too much, to the point of confusion for this reader.
This is an important story and is based on the writer's own experiences, living with her Vietnam war vet father, but somehow it fails to come together. ( )
  HelenBaker | Oct 10, 2018 |
Giller winner. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
I honestly don't even know what to think about this strange little book. Parts of it are lovely, parts of it utterly pretentious. The epilogue made it seem like less of a novel and more of a memoir. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This novel's is based in part on the author's father's experiences in Vietnam. However, this is a difficult novel to read and I found it work to get through it. If an author wishes to tell a story important to them, they should make it interesting and readable.

The narrator is a daughter of a Vietnam vet who she and her sister move to the shores of the St. Lawrence River in Canada from his home in Mexico, NY just as the St. Lawrence Seaway is filling with water. He is an alcoholic and generally an unpleasant man who his children have few pleasant memories of from their childhood.

He and his daughter live with the father of a friend of his who was killed in Vietnam. Part of the novel and the reason for the father's problems is he was at the US Marines actions at Quang Tri in October, 1967 which led to an investigation of the murder of Vietnamese women & children by the Marines. ( )
  lamour | Apr 10, 2018 |
I am not enjoying this, but am determined to finish the darn thing. On top of its obtuse boringness, it has glaring grammar errors that are not being used as dialect or anything. Poor writing, editing, proofreading? Wallows in words without getting anywhere....
Now finished, and very little further ahead. Clarity is not what this author was going for, apparently. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
i sing of Olaf glad and big whose warmest heart recoiled at war E. E. CUMMINGS
Dedication
For my mother
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The house my father left behind in Fargo, North Dakota, was never really a house at all.
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Haunted by the vivid horrors of the Vietnam War and exhausted from years spent battling his memories, Napoleon Haskell leaves his North Dakota trailer and moves to Canada. He retreats to a small town where Henry, the father of his fallen Vietnam comrade, has a home on the shore of a man-made lake. When Napoleon's daughter arrives, fleeing troubles of her own, she finds her father in the dark twilight of his life, wrapped in the fog of alcoholism. With love and insatiable curiosity, she devotes herself to learning the truth about his life, discovering not just the details of his Vietnam experience but also the palimpsest that memory makes and the distance between a lived experience and our telling it.--From front inside jacket.… (more)

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