Bernice Friesen

Canadian Author

The Book of Beasts
Adult Fiction

In 1965, James, a half-English, half-Irish boy, is taken by his mother on a visit home to her Irish village after years of alienation from her family. She is physically and emotionally scarred from a car accident in which James' little sister was killed. Once home, she decides to leave her husband and stay there. At first traumatized, James finally resigns himself to living there, eventually becoming close to his uncle and his grandmother. His grandmother decides that James should become a priest, and he enters private school and then university to do so, only to lose his faith as he enters adulthood.Through it all, James is deeply embittered at his father's apparent abandonment. Then, as a young man, he visits his father and discovers that the man has been writing and sending gifts all along and has even paid for James' education. All of which his mother kept from him. Now furious at both parents, he must try and make sense of his life on his own terms.

Meeka says:
I made it half way through before I had to give up the ghost. In places this was a really good read, and in others it just dragged on and on with no end in sight. It just became dull and boring.

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