Review: The Wreckage, by Michael Crummey

The WreckageThe Wreckage by Michael Crummey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have become mesmerized by Michael Crummey’s considerable writing skill. His prose is precise yet lush. His characters are real, understandable, compelling, even though their particular experience may be utterly foreign to the reader — such is Crummey’s ability to create from only words living, breathing, knowable individuals. And his ability to create a plot, hang a story from it, replete with sensory surround, is nothing short of formidable.

His ability to do all that once again in his novel, The Wreckage proves true.

In this tale, Crummey weaves the complexities of religious prejudice, clan ideology, and PTSD into a horrifically mesmerizing story about two young, would-be lovers who are separated not only by their families’ demands, but WWII, and their own inability to speak the truth they cage within themselves.

Within that seemingly simple story, Crummey examines the concept of wreckage: that of the tsunami which transformed the lives of many Newfoundlanders in 1929, of the people isolated by prejudice, of Japanese-Canadians who found themselves wrecked politically, culturally and socially, and of veterans who daily have to deal with the trauma of torture and trauma they endured.

This is not a beautiful story. And yet it is. It is a remarkable and unforgettable journey Crummey chains you to. It is also a novel worthy of your time.

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