Celine: A Novel

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Until you figure this out, your attention is again disrupted. Countering these jangles are lovely, evocative imagery and moving insight into human nature. Here again, though, enjoyment gets interrupted. After doing a beautiful job showing , the author sticks on a line that overdoes the point by telling. Here a sharp editorial pencil would have spared readers moments that bunt them out of the story.


Too bad, because otherwise the novel is a serious literary effort by an experienced writer who makes profound observations in poetic language. Readers who enjoy exploring character and can handle creative style will love Celine.

Those who read for plot buoyed by character, and prefer linear narrative, will find themselves thinking, Can we get back to the story, please? Sometimes she calls her grown son on the phone and mildly lectures him about his love life.

Celine: A novel

The mystery at the heart of this story revolves around a young woman, Gabriela, whose father, a charismatic and complicated nature photographer, disappeared mysteriously when she was young. Celine is packed with details—there are bear attacks, a gold-digging nurse, an emphysemic sharpshooter and senior citizens who live in a camper van—but every bit feels authentic and true.

5. Celine Kiernan Interview Part 2: Inspiration for the novel 'Into the Grey'

All the elements move the story along; for the reader, nothing is wasted and every moment is made to be savored and enjoyed. Heller handles scenes and scenarios that guide and haunt Celine's interior life with masterful, emotional, and action-packed strokes, making her one of this year's most unforgettable characters.

Celine by Peter Heller - Review | BookPage | BookPage

It's as if Heller took the tender yet tough-as-nails personality of writer Annie Proulx and cast her on the page, in all her plainspoken, intellectually impeccable, deeply wise—and wise-ass—glory. Like a skier expertly and playfully carving a double-black-diamond trail, Heller creates a breathtaking canvas against which his taut, twisting storytelling unfolds. There is a shimmering quality to his sentences when his characters are out in the elements, exercising their human ingenuity alongside the inscrutable workings of the natural world, in all its beauty and danger.

Driving out of Denver into the open range in a camper borrowed from her son, Hank, Celine observes that "the hedgerows and windbreaks of the old cottonwoods were just starting to turn the tenderest of greens.


In another month they would be the color of flames. In a passage that reads like a brilliant coda to the book, Celine and Pete find a campsite for the night near a lake north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming: "Dusk was moving over the water with a stillness that turned half the world to glass.

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  7. The wall of mountains had gone to shadow as had the reflections at their feet. In the stillness the rings of rising trout appeared like raindrops. Slowly, in silence, the dark water tilted away from the remaining daylight.

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    Celine stepped down from the truck and stretched and walked to the water, smelling its coldness and the scent of someone's cooking fire. But only where love had no ferocity.