Bacon, Charlotte "Lost Geography" - 2000
"Lost Geography" is a story about migration, a Canadian-Scottish family with their daughters, one of whom lives in France with her Turkish-English husband.
I especially like the description "'Lost Geography' teaches us, in a luminous sequence of intense personal dramas, that what keeps us alive isn't so much our ability to understand the details of our past as having the luck and courage to survive the assaults of both the present and history."
This is what the story is all about, how do people with a different background relate to each other, what are the consequences of migration, inter-racial marriages.
The novel is full of tragedies, with the people fighting. And this is the real message of the book, how you can overcome obstacles and make the most of it. Make the problems a challenge instead of a dead end road.
Very interesting novel for which the author received several awards, quite deservedly.
From the back cover:
"A heart-breaking novel by a prize-winning young writer
In a debut novel that is a triumph of wit and feeling, Charlotte Bacon explores the transitions that sixty years visit upon the members of an unforgettable family - a Saskatchewan woman and her Scottish husband; their plucky daughter, who moves to Toronto; and her remarkable daughter, who lives in France with her Turkish-English husband. 'Lost Geography' takes the complexity of migration as its central subject: Why do landscape, work, and family lock some people in place and release others? In settings both rural and urban, these stalwart, tragically dispersed yet resilient people respond not only to new environments and experiences but to the eruption of sudden loss and change.
As the settings and characters shift in this wise, resonant book, readers are invited to see how habits of survival translate from one generation to another. How are we like our forebears? How does circumstance make us alter what our heritage has told us is important? With unfailing subtlety and elegance, 'Lost Geography' teaches us, in a luminous sequence of intense personal dramas, that what keeps us alive isn't so much our ability to understand the details of our past as having the luck and courage to survive the assaults of both the present and history."