By Michael Ondaatje
From the prestigious writer of The English Patient and Anil's Ghost comes a impressive, intimate novel of intersecting lives that levels throughout continents and time. within the Nineteen Seventies in Northern California a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, paintings their farm with assistance from Coop, an enigmatic younger guy who makes his domestic with them. Theirs is a makeshift relatives, until eventually it truly is shattered by way of an incident of violence that units fireplace to the remainder of their lives. Divisadero takes us from San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevada's casinos and at last to the panorama of southern France. because the narrative strikes from side to side via time and position, we discover all the characters looking for a few foothold in a gift shadowed via the prior.
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Extra info for Divisadero
It was as if there were a novella by Balzac round every bend. Prospectors now drove up in Airstreams, pulling gas-fuelled dredges to suck up whatever remained on the river bottoms. A century of flooding and storms had knocked loose the gold from the prehistoric beds, sluicing it down into the rivers. Miners in wetsuits were ‘sniping’ the streams, and swam in the underwater darkness holding giant cauldrons of light. Everything about gold was in opposition to Coop’s life on our farm. It must still have felt to him that he came from nowhere, the horror of his parents’ murder never spoken of by us.
Shasta and Columbia burned. Were rebuilt and burned again and rebuilt again. Sacramento flooded. A hundred years later, at the time of Coop’s obsession, there would still be five thousand full-time gold miners along the banks of the Yuba and Russian rivers. They scouted out the old towns in the Sierras named after lovers and dogs and characters in novels—names that were a time capsule of hunger and desire for a new life. Ne Plus Ultra! At each filament-like dot on the county maps, something had happened.
The grey structure had slowly risen on its skeletal struts, and even before it was completed, Coop would lounge on its sloped roof and gaze at the adjacent hills as though they were a road out. Now, a decade later, there was a leak somewhere within the tower’s dark interior. The minute Coop opened the trapdoor and looked down, panic hit him. There was in his mind the possibility of a snake or even a corpse in that unseen water. He stood for a last moment in the sunlight, pulled up the ladder he’d used to climb onto the apron roof, and dropped it down through the water.