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Caribou Island

by David Vann

A haunting book set in the wilds of Alaska where Gary and his wife Irene begin building a cabin together on Caribou Island. They are dogged by fierce storms and illness. Gary feels his life to have been a failure and wants to make a fresh start. Irene is haunted by events in her past and doesn't want to leave her home and her two adult children. A story of a crumbling marriage and disappointment - beautiful and bleak.

Extract

Gary was a champion at regret. Everyday there was something, and this was perhaps what Irene liked least. Their entire lives second-guessed. The regret a living thing, a pool inside him. Well, we're out here now, Irene said. We've brought the logs and we're building the cabin. My point is that we could have been here 30 years ago. I get your point, Irene said ....
We can do this, Irene said. We can build a nice cabin here. Yeah, Gary finally said. Then he turned away from the property, looked into the wind and rain. Let's push off. So they pushed the boat free and climbed over the bow. Gary at the engine and Irene in the bottom of the boat, hugging her knees, trying to get warm.

Parallels

The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
 

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