I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Enon by Paul Harding
Published by Random House on September 10th 2013
Source: the Publisher
The next novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers, in which a father's grief over the loss of his daughter threatens to derail his life.
Powerful, brilliantly written, and deeply moving Paul Harding has, in Enon, written a worthy successor to Tinkers, a debut which John Freeman on NPR called "a masterpiece." Drawn always to the rich landscape of his character's inner lives, here, through the first person narrative of Charlie Crosby (grandson to George Crosby of Tinkers), Harding creates a devastating portrait of a father trying desperately to come to terms with family loss.
‘I felt like a ghost, listless and confined, wandering in a house that had been mine a century ago, relegated to examining the details of the lives of strangers.’
Enon opens in tragedy. Charlie Crosby misses a life changing phone call from his wife: his only daughter has been hit by a car and died. His struggle to deal with the grief is bad enough but shortly after his wife leaves him as well. Without his wife and daughter in his life he has lost all reason for living. He becomes the very epitome of pain and suffering. He has no one to share this grief with so he internalizes everything and by doing so sends himself on a downward spiral.
Enon is imbued with a suffocating grief that threatens to swallow you whole. The story meanders down a twisting path, lacking any linear pattern but instead forging it’s own self-destructive path. I understand the purpose behind the lack of a solid plot as I felt it was representative of Charlie’s mindset, but I was still anticipating something monumental to happen. A moment of major significance. But it just didn’t happen. The first person point of view gave the book a very monotone feel despite how emotional you would expect it to be.
I think this is a story that will speak to many people, but it almost seems like something you need to be going through personally in order to fully understand, appreciate and relate. Enon portrays just how all-consuming grief can be, especially when you allow it to overtake you.