Jan 31, 2015

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper Review

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
Release date : January 29th, 2015
Publisher : Fig Tree; 288 pages
I've gone. I've never seen the water, so I've gone there. I will try to remember to come back.

Etta's greatest unfulfilled wish, living in the rolling farmland of Saskatchewan, is to see the sea. And so, at the age of eighty-two she gets up very early one morning, takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 2,000 miles to water.

Meanwhile her husband Otto waits patiently at home, left only with his memories. Their neighbour Russell remembers too, but differently - and he still loves Etta as much as he did more than fifty years ago, before she married Otto.

Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The idea of a woman walking miles to see the sea seemed like a roaring adventure of fun, laughs and adventure; it wasn't what I expected. This isn't a travel story or a coming of age tale or a love story, it is a little of everything all mixed into one.

Etta is an old woman heading off to see the sea. Otto is her husband who waits at home baking. Russel is their long time neighbor who goes off. And James is a Coyote, or her dead nephew, or a figment of her imagination. The characters are unusual, but well written.

Despite the premise and the characters I found the story to be confusing, in fact it was a real struggle to get through at times. There are flash backs, letters, recipes, different points of views and possible telepathy. It all felt a little much and just didn't flow. I did enjoy the flash backs and the love story that created between the characters.

All that said, I did feel the book left me wanting more, but I think this is because it felt unfinished. There are loose ends to the story, but even if there could be a sequel I'm not sure I would rush out to buy it.

Grab this book when you can concentrate or leave it on your bedside table and read a few pages a night.

1 comment:

  1. I saw this one on Netgalley as well but wasn't sure whether I would enjoy it or not! From the blurb it seemed a bit chaotic to me and from your review I gather that that is how it is! I do still love the idea of this woman walking to the sea on her own, so when I do find some free time I might pick it up! Great review :)
    Juli @ Universe in Words


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