Moving Forward Sideways Like A Crab

Moving Forward Sideways Like A Crab

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
6
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Jonathan Lewis-Adey was nine when his parents separated, and his mother, Sid, vanished entirely from his life. It is not until he is a grown man that Jonathan finally reconnects with his beloved lost parent, only to find, to his shock and dismay, that the woman he knew as "Sid" in Toronto has become an elegant man named Sydney living in his native Trinidad. For nine years, Jonathan has paid regular visits to Sydney on his island retreat, trying with quiet desperation to rediscover the parent he adored inside this familiar stranger, and to overcome his lingering confusion and anger at the choices Sydney has made. At the novel's opening, Jonathan is summoned urgently to Trinidad where Sydney, now aged and dying, seems at last to offer him the gift he longs for: a winding story that moves forward sideways as it reveals the truths of Sydney's life. But when and where the story will end is up to Jonathan, and it is he who must decide what to do with Sydney's haunting legacy of love, loss, and acceptance.
Publisher: Brooklyn, New York : Akashic Books, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 161775577X (hbk.)
9781617755774 (hbk.)
1617755346 (softback)
9781617755347 (softback)
Branch Call Number: FIC MOOTOO
Characteristics: 304 pages ; 21 cm

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w
wyenotgo
Jul 15, 2016

As implied by the title, this book moves crabwise when it moves at all. And although it covers a time period of well over 20 years, it actually moves forward very little. It is, above all, about love and its complexity, sorrow, joy and pain. Mootoo is at her very best in the moments shared between Sydney and Jonathan during Sydney's final hours, as Sydney struggles to impart to Jonathan all that he has been unable to share with him. Deliberately or not, the flow of Mootoo's language becomes awkward near the end, reflecting Jonathan's awkwardness and difficulty in coming to terms with the fact that despite having re-connected with Sydney and spent many long days and hours with him over nine years he had never really known and understood Sydney. Mootoo displays remarkable skill in moving between the voices of Jonathan, Sydney, Zain, Jonathan writing in Sydney's voice and even Jonathan writing in Zain's voice. Despite its slow pace, I found the book to be completely engaging, insightful and in places very moving. I look forward to reading other books by Shani Mootoo.

g
gingerbeer
Feb 09, 2016

This is a slow-moving and evocative tale of a man who reconnects with his long-lost parent; beautifully written.

l
lbucci
May 16, 2015

Loved it! It was very absorbing.

s
santiano9
Mar 19, 2015

Too much description, not enough plot and character development. Did provide insight into transgender perspective and that was helpful and interesting. More story would have made the book much better though.

l
llocas
Dec 09, 2014

I liked it, but liked her other books better. I thought it was a bit drawn out at the end. But I do recommend it.

m
Malca
May 24, 2014

This is a beautiful novel by a wonderful author.

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