Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Review for Sarah Court

Review from Booklist Online:

Lives of the people who live in five houses in one block on Sarah Court, just north of Niagara Falls, intertwine in these five chapters of tightly packed prose. River man Wesley Hill, who picks up the “plungers,” can’t dissuade his daredevil son, Colin, from going over the falls. Patience Nanavatti, whose basement was blown up by Clara Russell’s pyromaniac foster child, finds a preemie in a Walmart toilet. Competitive neighbors Fletcher Burger and Frank Saberhagen pit their children, pending power-lifter Abby Burger and amateur boxer Nick Saberhagen, against each other athletically. And there’s much more, as Davidson loops back and forth, playing with chronology to finish stories. There is a strong emphasis on fatherhood here, with wives and mothers largely absent, and the masculine bent is particularly obvious in a stupid bet—a finger for a Cadillac—over a dog’s trick. Given that a handful of characters suffer significant brain damage, caused as often by intent as by accident, the introduction of a mysterious alien being seems superfluous. In Davidson’s vividly portrayed, testosterone-fueled world, humans cause enough pain all by themselves.

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