The Juliet Stories

The Juliet Stories

eBook - 2012
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Shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award: Fiction and selected as a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book

Juliet Friesen is ten years old when her family moves to Nicaragua. It is 1984, the height of Nicaragua's post-revolutionary war, and the peace-activist Friesens have come to protest American involvement. In the midst of this tumult, Juliet's family lives outside of the boundaries of ordinary life. They've escaped, and the ordinary rules don't apply. Threat is pervasive, danger is real, but the extremity of the situation also produces a kind of euphoria, protecting Juliet's family from its own cracks and conflicts.

When Juliet's younger brother becomes sick with cancer, their adventure ends abruptly. The Friesens return to Canada only to find that their lives beyond Nicaragua have become the war zone. One by one, they drift from each other, and Juliet grows to adulthood, pulled between her desire to live a free life like the one she remembers in Nicaragua, and her desire to build for her own children a life more settled than her parents could provide.

With laser-sharp prose and breathtaking insight, these stories herald Carrie Snyder as one of Canada's most prodigiously talented writers.

Now featuring a a preview of Carrie Snyder's new novel, Girl Runner.

Publisher: Toronto :, Anansi,, 2012
ISBN: 9781770890572
Branch Call Number: Online eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Feb 02, 2013

I could not get past Nicaragua in this book. I simply could not feel anything for any of the characters, except Juliet, who did not seem to be enjoying her "freedom" in this dysfunctional family.

Jan 01, 2013

My particular favourite in this unique collection of linked short stories / short stories culminating in a novel is "The Four Corners of a House." I get a little choked up just recalling again what a poignant and palpable study of the shades and behaviours of grief this story captures, as a family copes (or doesn't) with the loss of one of its members.

ksoles Dec 05, 2012

Carrie Snyder arranges her sophomore collection of linked stories in a novelistic arc. "The Juliet Stories" follows its titular heroine from the foreignness of childhood to the quiet joys and terrors of adulthood. Though it reads chronologically, each story can stand on its own, allowing Snyder to explore the episodic and fractured nature of memory and life.

The first half of the book, set in Nicaragua in 1984, describes the experiences of the Canadian/American Friesen family as they protest U.S. support of a paramilitary force that is attempting a violent coup. The second section, set mostly in Southern Ontario, contains darker stories that explore the pain of loss: loss of loved ones, of time, of youth and of innocence.

Snyder’s frequently lyrical sentences perfectly mete out the excitement and horror of the precarious work her characters engage in. And, while "The Juliet Stories" deals with emotionally and politically charged themes, Snyder’s style feels neither manipulative nor argumentative. She avoids aestheticizing trauma and instead offers strong characterization and a moving story.

branch_reviews May 11, 2012

This novel-in-stories is divided into 2 sections. Section one takes place in Nicaragua, where Juliet is living with her “peacenik” parents and two younger brothers. She has a kind of freedom that children dream of … all the while living in potentially dangerous situation. When one of her younger brothers is diagnosed with cancer, the family has to come back to North America. The second section is a series of chronological stories that all relate to Juliet and the various characters in her life. “The quality of the writing pulls us through”.
Reviewed by JK

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