What Is Left the Daughter

What Is Left the Daughter

Book - 2010
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Houghton

A novel about the murder of a German youth in Canada during WWII.


Howard Norman, widely regarded as one of this country’s finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books—The Bird Artist,The Museum Guard, and The Haunting of L—in this erotically charged and morally complex story.

Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges—the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda.

Setting in motion the novel’s chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. Actual historical incidents—including a German U-boat’s sinking of the Nova Scotia–Newfoundland ferry Caribou, on which Aunt Constance Hillyer might or might not be traveling—lend intense narrative power to Norman’s uncannily layered story.

Wyatt’s account of the astonishing—not least to him— events leading up to his fathering of a beloved daughter spills out twenty-one years later. It’s a confession that speaks profoundly of the mysteries of human character in wartime and is directed, with both despair and hope, to an audience of one.

An utterly stirring novel. This is Howard Norman at his celebrated best.



Baker & Taylor
In the aftermath of his parents' double suicides for their separate affairs with the same neighbor, Nova Scotia teen Wyatt Hillyer moves in with his uncle, aunt, and beautiful cousin and experiences additional life-changing events that culminate in his fathering of a child.

Blackwell Publishing
A two-time National Book Award finalist delivers a stirring tale of the passions---tender, obsessive, even murderous---that are unleashed by a wartime love triangle

"Set on the Atlantic coast of Canada during World War II, Norman's latest...is grand in scope but studded with moments of tenderness and intimacy that help crystallize the anxiety and weariness of life on the home front. That Norman is able to achieve so much in [these] pages is a testament to his mastery of the craft."---Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Norman the master craftsman... Scores again with this gripping account of a family ripped apart by obsession and murder."---Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Howard Norman, widely regarded as one of this country's finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books---The Bird Artist, The Museum Guard, and the Haunting of L---in this erotically charged and morally complex story.

Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges---the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda.

Setting in motion the novel's chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. Actual historical incidents---including a German U-boat's sinking of the Nova Scotia-Newfoundland ferry Caribou, on which Aunt Constance Hillyer might or might not be traveling---lend intense narrative power to Norman's uncannily layered story.

Wyatt's account of the astonishing---not least to him---events leading up to his fathering of a beloved daughter spills out twenty-one years later. It's a confession that speaks profoundly of the mysteries of human character in wartime and is directed, with both despair and hope, to an audience of one.

An utterly stirring novel, What Is Left the Daughter is Howard Norman at his celebrated best.

Baker
& Taylor

In the aftermath of his parents' double suicides for their separate affairs with the same neighbor, Nova Scotia teen Wyatt moves in with his uncle, aunt and beautiful cousin against a backdrop of World War II and experiences additional life-changing events that culminate in his fathering of a child. By the National Book Award-finalist author of The Bird Artist.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
ISBN: 9780618735433
0618735437
Branch Call Number: Fiction Norman
Characteristics: p. cm

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blue_cat_2971
Aug 17, 2016

Stunningly beautiful book.

Madelon2237 Apr 21, 2011

Sensitive story set in Nova Scotia WWII-unrequited love and tragedy

debwalker Dec 10, 2010

"Like Howard Norman's previous novels, What is Left the Daughter begins with a confession. In this case, 43-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is writing a letter to his estranged daughter on the occasion of her 21st birthday to tell her about "the terrible incident that I took part in on Oct. 16, 1942," when he was 19. The entire book is Hillyer's letter to his daughter, written over the course of weeks to explain his life and, in the process, shed some light on hers as well. The novel unravels the interwoven and complex motives surrounding this event and exposes the force of love, revenge and xenophobia. With such universal themes, it is a tribute not only to the continued importance of the novel as a representation of society but also to the dying art of letter writing."

Recommendations from Rona Brinlee at The BookMark in Atlantic Beach, Fla.

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nic03red
Oct 31, 2010

I really enjoyed this book. Very interesting time period as well as location. Howard Norman is a great storyteller. He really had me feeling for the characters in this book.

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