Friday, March 20, 2015

Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Connections. Emma Hooper muses about memory and identity in her debut novel titled, Etta and Otto and Russell and James, as she takes readers on a journey with octogenarian protagonist Etta who’s walking east from Saskatchewan to see the ocean. It doesn’t take a reader long to consider that Etta may be facing dementia. After her husband, Otto, receives her note about her journey, he cooks from her recipe cards and engages in something new as he awaits her return. Hooper offers their connections across the kilometers and across time in ways that will delight many readers. Neighbor and long-time friend, Russell, decides to track down Etta. James may be the most interesting character of all, since he is presented as a coyote with whom Etta communicates. The prose soars often, and might frustrate those readers who prefer more directness and clarity. I was entranced by Hooper’s prose and found the characters complex and interesting. Rating: Five-star (I love it) Click here to purchase Etta and Otto and Russell and James from

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