...although this might be my last Canada Reads book for the year (I know, I know, I haven't even read the winner). I just have too many other books on my TBR pile to buy more at the moment. I'll make it a point to start early next year (I do with they would announce the finalists earlier, though) and try for all 5.
As for this book, I'm not really sure what to say at this time. It feels too fresh in my mind, and there's a lot left wide open at the end of the novel. I thought for sure that the photographer would turn out to be Marie-Desneige's lost baby, but that particular thread was never pursued. The last couple of chapters have all the residents of this makeshift Eden scattering (mainly by force) to the four winds, never to come into contact again (presumably; again, there are many unanswered questions).
Which, I suppose, means that this novel is in large part about absences: Ted Boychuck is never seen alive, but his presence permeates the entire novel; Charlie and Marie-Desneiges decide it's for the best to not contact the photographer again; and the fates of Steve and Bruno are uncertain after their disappearance.
The image I have of this book is of stories and characters that are diffused, fuzzy around the edges; which is how I guess many of us appear to one another. It explores some serious issues, but offers no answers. In the end, each character makes a final decision based on very personal circumstances. There are endings, and new beginnings that will inevitably lead to their own endings.