Publisher: House of Anansi
Source: Personal Copy
In 1982 Helen O’Mara lost her husband, when the oil rig he was working on sank off the coast of New Foundland. All eighty-four men aboard were declared dead. Helen was left to care for her young children alone, pregnant with a baby who would never know his or her father. Helen struggles with money and loneliness. Helen is now fifty-eight, and still living with the after effects of her husband’s death. Her oldest son John has called her from the other side of the world and tells his mother that he’s going to be a father. The girl was a one night stand, and he doesn’t know much about her.
February shifts time and viewpoints to give the readers a full glimpse of the past and present issues. Helen is a likable character, she’s struggled through tough times, she’s raised her children and now she still wants to be there for them, during their difficult times. When she reminisces about the night her husband passes, reader’s hearts will break. Moore doesn’t spare readers the emotions. Helen has fought to deal with her grief and keep her life in control. Her son, John has stayed away from relationships and kept himself free to do as he pleases. When he discovers that he will be a father, he struggles to come to terms with his new life. He’s determined to help the mother has much as he can, but he doesn’t have her phone number, and he was not supportive when she first broke the news to him.
I really enjoyed February, and it has won the Canada Reads 2013 book battle. My only issue with the book was the lack of dialogue. The story is not told in a linear way, Moore gives readers snipes of life events. If you’re looking for a good Canadian book to read, this one is worth the time.