As we get ready to celebrate the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner, I am reading my way through the short-list including: Son of a Trickster (Eden Robinson, who I had the privilege to meet at a Laurier event in February), Transit (Rachel Cusk), Bellevue Square (Michael Redhill, who I met in September and a blog post is pending), Minds of Winter (Ed O’Loughlin) and I am a Truck (Michelle Winters).
I am a Truck is a very quick read. I would actually suggest planning your reading so that you can read it all in one sitting. I spread my reading out and feel that the disjointed reading impacted the overall impact of the book, leaving me to feel that I should reread it to feel it’s complete impact.
As Agathe prepares a surprise to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary to Rejean, his beloved truck is found empty, with the door open, on the side of the highway. Rejean is missing, without a trace. The couple had lived an insulated life, speaking in French and living off the beaten path, spending their time isolated from the English speaking community. Rejean liked things a certain way and Agathe seemed to go along with this.
With Rejean’s disappearance, Agathe’s life opens up. She mourns his loss by smelling his flannel shirts but meets a new friend, finds a job, learns to drive and starts to enjoy rock and roll. She meets Martin, the salesperson who had sold Rejean the truck and through this character we learn more about Rejean who also mourns the loss of his friend.
This is a unique book, it makes the reader ponder… in fact, I am still pondering and think a second read might help. I enjoyed the mix of English and French and needed to translate a few words as I read. It is a book that will spur great conversations at book clubs as readers consider the oddity of each of the characters as they learn more about the disappearance of Rejean.
It is written by Michelle Winters, a writer, painter and translator. She is originally from New Brunswick but living in Toronto. I look forward to meeting her at the Between the Pages event at the Koerner Hall, in Toronto, November 6th.