Sunday 10 July 2022

Book ~ "The Winter Wives" (2021) Linden MacIntyre

From Goodreads ~ Two old friends, who first met in university, get together for a weekend of golfing: Allan, a football hero, worldly and financially successful, and his quieter friend, nicknamed Byron, lame from a childhood injury, a smart fellow who became a lawyer but who has never left home, staying put so he could care for a mother with Alzheimer's.

During a long night of drinking, the fault lines between them start to show. One of the biggest: the two men married sisters, though Allan was the one who walked down the aisle with Peggy, the sister both of them loved, and Byron had to settle for Annie.

Out on the course the next morning, Allan suffers a stroke. In one traumatic moment, he loses control of his life, his wife and his business empire, which turns out to have been built on lies and the illegal drug trade. And Byron has to suddenly confront his own weaknesses and strengths, his tangled relationship with Allan and the Winter sisters - both the one he married and the one he thought was the love of his life. No one will anticipate the lengths to which Byron will go to make sense of his life.

Byron and Allan had met at university in Nova Scotia in the 1980s and became unlikely friends ... Byron was an introvert from rural Nova Scotia (near Cape Breton) and Allan was extravert athlete from Toronto.  Allan quit school to become an "entrepreneur" and eventually made a lot of money while Byron continued on in school and became a lawyer and lived on the family farm taking care of his mother who had Alzheimer's.  

Byron had gone to high school with Peggy and Annie Winter ... Peggy was more extraverted and eventually married Allan and Annie helped Byron care for his mother and they ended up marrying.  Once Byron's mother passed away, Annie becomes more involved in Allan's business and moves to Toronto to be with Allan and Peggy.  While golfing in Nova Scotia with Byron, Allan has a stroke and is never the same.  Byron helps the sisters out as much as he can but he's dealing the possibility that the carries the Alzheimer's gene.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I thought it was okay ... I did find it slow and depressing.  It is written in first person perspective in Byron's voice.  I didn't find the characters likable though I did find the interaction between Byron and the police officers toward the end entertaining.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

I found the lack of quotation marks in dialogue annoying and didn't get used to it ... for example:

-I took the liberty, he said.
-God bless you, said Mom.

I did like the settings ... I lived in Antigonish, NS, for many years, which is near Malignant Cove, where Byron and his mother lived ... so when he went "to town", I'm assuming he went to Antigonish.  And living in Toronto, I could picture where the action was taking place (Island Airport, Gardiner Expressway, etc.).

1 comment:

raidergirl3 said...

Don’t give up on MacIntyre yet! This was my least favourite of his books. Try Causeway his NF memoir is fantastic as it is also part history of NS.