3.5 of 5 stars
Published September 2012
Kin is the story of siblings Annie and David Macdonald and Annie’s best friend Lila. It traces their lives and their subsequent families from the 1930s into the millenium, mainly based in the Glace Bay area of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I don’t get to read that many books based in my home province and always enjoy the ones I have found. Lesley Crewe is a fairly new author for me. She writes books about friendships and families, mostly all pretty relateable (though the last one I read, Hit & Mrs, was a bit off the wall).
I usually always enjoy a “family saga” book, one that traces several generations. I also usually find that the first and second generation are more interesting and have more detail than the later ones. In this case, most of the book focusses on Annie, David and Lila. The next generation doesn’t really get as much of a look in until a good 2/3 of the way through the book but having said that, it’s still about the family as a whole.
Family, marriages, relationships, friendships. Good times, bad times, tragedy, birth and death. Just like life. The writing style was a bit different again from the other two books of hers I read, which were each different from each other. This one seemed to have more of an ordinary feel which might have been deliberate since it was about an ordinary family. I enjoyed the mostly Cape Breton locations with a bit of Halifax and Montreal thrown in. Lots of familiarity there for me. The characters are also believable and when you can see that their life decisions feel like a train wreck, you find yourself riding along with them, waiting for the inevitable.
The author doesn’t shy away from the difficult and tragic events and a couple of them are particularly sad. But again, that’s life as we all know it. We all survive and deal with devastating events and losses and hopefully we have the support of a strong family to help us get through.
(This will fill one of my Bingo challenge squares for a book written in my home province)