The Wreckage is a gorgeous novel set sometimes in a Newfoundland outport, sometimes in the city, and sometimes in a World War Two prisoner-of-war camp in Japan. Michael Crummey writes beautiful sentences of the sort that make other writers wonder why they bother. The book is loosely based on bits of Crummey's family history, but his wonderful characters, especially the main ones, Mercedes and Wish, make the story even more heartbreaking than real life could ever be. This is Crummey's second novel; The River Thieves, his first, was good in its own quiet way, but The Wreckage sprawls and brawls and spills over, and demands to be read.
category: best of 2005