Matters of Hart by Marianne Ackerman
Matters of Hart is a picaresque tale of one man’s journey to the edge and back again. Set in Montreal, Los Angeles and Vancouver amid a backdrop of international terrorism, Matters of Hart is emotionally gripping and often wickedly funny. It’s a Rip Van Winkle story about a guy whose destiny is shaped by desperation and imagination. Stylistically innovative, the novel tracks Hart’s journey from multiple perspectives. First, through the eyes of five women in his life: Amanda recalls how the saga of the banished brother shaped her destiny. A German girl is inspired by meeting Hart on the night of his ‘death’. His ex-wife, Sandrine, is liberated by his apparent demise and strikes up with a younger man. Hart’s mother relives the secret that haunted his adolescence. And Wanda, a born-again Christian, enters a spiral of jealousy as her husband Neil grows besotted by his newfound family. A briskly-told tale that veers easily from sardonic humour to pathos, Matters of Hart is a novel for troubled times. It offers solid proof that the rumours are premature — irony is alive and well in the 21st Century.
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