(Coach House, 2014)
A fiction pick by Glenn
Now that he has a Giller under his belt, Andre Alexis will likely gain more respect on account of his obvious ability. This is why I picked up his previous work “Pastoral” when it crossed my view. That and the themes of the story resonate well with me, those being church ministry and the ever interesting life in a small town. Most won’t know that prior to my stint as a library worker here at DPL, I completed a theology degree and received ordination as a minister. In time however I grew increasingly disillusioned with the ever present politics that permeate all churches that I’ve been a part of. That’s not a condemnation by the way; just my reality … and I still look up. ‘Pastoral’ follows the journey of Christopher Pennant upon his assignment to the town of Barrow, a small place in southern Ontario. Not a moment after he arrives, the idiosyncrasies of small town life explode onto the scene. It’s this what makes ‘Pastoral’ a worthy read. The issues of love, death, and faith come to life in the characters that Alexis develops. Don’t dismiss the book so quickly. I think you will find it comical, captivating and relevant to our everyday lives. Life is not always as it appears. Never be so quick to judge and realize that love can take you in almost unimaginable directions. Four stars out of five for my most recent favourite author.