Saturday, January 31, 2009

Books Set in a Well Known City

To Whom it May Concern by Pricila Uppal was an absolute pleasure to read! It is a modern retelling of King Lear and it must be the most dysfunctional functional family I’ve ever read about! The dad is an Indian immigrant who is also a quadriplegic and he has an array of very interesting homecare workers that scatter through his house. Oh and he’s about to go through a foreclosure on his house. His French Canadian wife left him because she couldn’t handle the changes in life after he was injured in the hit and run accident. His eldest daughter is about to get married. His other daughter is deaf and works part time in a piercing/tattoo parlor after school. His son is in the middle of a master’s degree in anthropology where he studies curses and the occult and just realized he is gay. What an assortment of characters!!! This is the story of “a father desperate to protect his modest kingdom, and his children, tormented by their desire to escape.”

The best part of this book is that it’s set in Ottawa! I went to university in Ottawa and I just adore that city and really miss it from time to time. Have you ever read a book that is set in a place that you know like the back of your hand? It makes the story so much closer to you and somehow less fictional. I was side by side the characters while they studied at Morriset Library on the Ottawa University campus, or had a pint at the Royal Oak, skated along the Rideau Canal and then had Beaver Tails and hot apple cider, or wandered through the Rideau Center at Christmas!!! This book brought back so many warm memories that I had completely forgotten about!

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