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October by Richard B. Wright.

51xeGtI-PKL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_

Title: October.
Author: Richard B. Wright.
Genre: Fiction, ethics.
Country: Canada.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2007.
Summary: Visiting his gravely ill daughter, James Hillyer encounters by chance Gabriel Fontaine, whom he met as a boy while on holiday in Gaspé. At the time, the boys had competed for the love of a French-Canadian girl from the village. Now, over six decades later and faced with the terrible possibility of outliving his own daughter, James is asked by Gabriel to accompany him on a final, unthinkable journey.

My rating: 8/10


♥ The war touched us all in a personal way because it involved older brothers and cousins, uncles, boys who had played on the football and hockey teams only a few years before. Yet ordinary life goes on, insisting that it too be heard even in the midst of great public drama. People quarrel or have affairs, break down and take to their beds. Ordinary unhappiness never stops for wars.

♥ She would be taking it in, and now in the middle of her forty-sixth year perhaps wondering if it wasn't too much to ask that she be granted other evenings like this in the years ahead. But such requests are not granted to some, and now she was a member of that "some". What must first strike you in such circumstances is the terrible unfairness of it all. But unfairness in what sense? The concept of fairness or unfairness in life implies order and meaning, some judicial hand determining human destinies. In other words, the belief in a deity.

♥ But all this was only in my imagination. What did I really know? At school the masters always talked of solving problems, finding answers. It was always about answers. But what if many things we encounter have no answers? What if they just remain unsolved mysteries? Why for instance had my mother's nerves failed her? How could you like a person yet not like him too? How could I still have such strong feelings for a girl I now realized I didn't know all that well? And what was going to become of her? And why did I still care so much?

So many things then seemed indeterminate, stories without endings. And looking out the train window on that late-summer afternoon in my fifteenth year, I think I sensed, in a small way at least, that such mysteries lay at the heart of everything that would matter in my life.
Tags: 1st-person narrative, 2000s, 20th century in fiction, 21st century - fiction, canadian - fiction, cancer (fiction), ethics (fiction), euthanasia (fiction), fiction, illness (fiction), old age (fiction), philosophical fiction, romance
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