Friday, June 24, 2016
Barkskins. We’ve come to look to Proulx for insight into our complicated relationship with nature, and on the topic of the exploration of forests, she is prolific. Spanning three hundred years and multiple generations of two families, the novel draws readers into the destruction of forests and the radical change in culture involving these families. Because of alternating chapters on the families, I found it challenging to keep characters straight, especially because of the large number of people Proulx presents. Even with brief treatment, she presents these characters with complex nuances, and by using descriptive language so lyrically, we can experience violence and loss as a normal part of life. The forest and the trees are also characters, and their plight is a whole other matter. I never thought I would say this about a novel over 700 pages in length: I wish she had written more! If you want to do a small thing to help our forests survive, read the e-book version. Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase Barkskins from amazon.com.