white

rob mclennan’s white leaves a lot of space to fill with questions, but I am inclined to say that it is exactly the right amount of space for this story, which needs room to feel lonely and lost in.

At the beginning of the book we meet P and H–we are not given full names–and told that they married hastily after meeting on vacation, had a boring postcard honeymoon in Niagara Falls, and settled into a house in the suburbs. We aren’t told what suburbs.

white contains blankness, emptiness, amnesia, winter. P stays at home in the suburbs while H goes to work in computer networks. P slowly gets sick and paranoid. She gets lost fifteen minutes from the house. She is afraid to talk to neighbours, go outside. At 26, she feels like she is dying.

The new, white blankness of married suburban life pushes up against P’s past–her mother, a gardener up to her elbows in dirt, disagrees with P’s marriage.

Points go to mclennan for managing to articulate P’s perspective so authentically in poetic snapshots of an alienated life. (Sarah Greene)

by rob mclennan, $16.95, 102 pgs, The Mercury Press, box 672, Station P, Toronto, ON, M5S 2Y4, themercurypress.ca

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