The Cottagers

Marshall N. Klimasewiski, Author
Marshall N. Klimasewiski, Author . Norton $24.95 (317p) ISBN 978-0-393-06077-5
Paperback - 317 pages - 978-0-393-33020-5
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Cyrus Collingwood, 19, a lifelong resident of Vancouver Island, spends most of his time spying on the vacationers in their East Sooke holiday cottages with a mix of curiosity and resentment . He becomes fixated on Brooklynites Samina, Nicholas and their three-year-old daughter, Hilda, and their friends Laurel and Greg from St. Louis. Cyrus insinuates himself into their lives, acting the proud local eager to share the island with the visitors, and begins picking at their insecurities, including the professional jealousy among Nicholas, a successful historian; Greg, a struggling biographer; and tenure-track English professor Laurel. Only Samina, with her exotic beauty and reserved manner, remains a puzzle to him. One day Nicholas does not return from a walk along a secluded beach, and everyone becomes suspicious of everyone else. Using an omniscient narrator who unevenly reveals his characters, debut novelist Klimasewiski illustrates the who-really-knows-anyone? angles nicely, but they overwhelm the narrative voice, making the book feel idea-driven. (May 12)

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