Fall Booknotes from Our Staff – Fiction

On Canaan’s Side
by Sebastian Barry (Viking)

Lilly Bere writes what she calls her “confession” over a seventeen-day period following her grandson Bill’s suicide. Barry’s novel recounts Lilly’s flight from Ireland to North America after World War I, and the ensuing drama of her life over seven decades filled with sorrow, but also with joy. Lilly’s loss and forbearance is conveyed with a quiet intensity. The revelations in her story come at a price and are indeed a surprise to the reader. Barry’s prose is crystalline, understated, and compassionate—he is incomparable. –Greg

by Ismet Prcic (Black Cat)

A young Bosnian man named Ismet Prcic escapes the war as a member of a theater troupe. Now, safe in California, he continually has to survive what he has already lived through. Visions of a similar man who remained in Bosnia to became an elite soldier slowly infiltrate his life, and memories collide with terrible versions of what his life could have been. Before long it is unclear who he actually is. A voice that is at once brutally honest, brave, and vulnerable combines with an innovative structure to create an arresting work of art. –Casey O.

Booknotes, the newsletter of The Elliott Bay Book Company, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published books that we have enjoyed reading. We appreciate every opportunity to assist in finding books to meet your interests.