Publisher: HarperCollins Canada (1997)
Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 8.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
Best Sellers Rank: #2,548,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #76 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Weddings > Gown
I know there are those who believe that even the notion of a novella is something unpalatable, never mind what's contained between its covers. I suppose I'm a little more egalitarian...which is surprising, seeing as I'm such a harsh critic...and a snob. However, 'You Went Away' *is* a novella. It's not a novel. It's not focused on telling a fully-formed story, but rather a storella. Which, as we all know, is a broad hint of a story, its quality defined as much by what's left out as by what's left in. (What's fascinating to me is that everything about the tale has been 'novella-ized'. Not just its breadth -that is, the narrative- but also the pithy representation of characters, their dialogue...the entire kit and kaboodle. And for this, I give Findley additional marks, for having been true to his intent. If this had been a slim tome but inconsistently dressed, if the passages were dense for example, or the depth into which he went in portraying characters was substantive, 'You Went Away' simply wouldn't ring true. But it does, because everything about the novel cleaves to the concept that 'novella' suggests.)'You Went Away' is an austere, yet hardly cold affair. It's restrained without seeming bound, it's spare without seeming spartan. Its powerful punch comes from remaining true to the time, to the period, to the circumstances...with every word, every sentence, every paragraph serving the end result, that of novella and not 'sweeping saga'. (Lord knows, it could have been. There's so much there. In fact, I couldn't help but think "I wonder what Ann-Marie MacDonald would have done with this, if she'd been left it to finish upon Findley's death.') Yes, it does leave so very much unanswered. Yes, there are threads left dangling.
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