Monday, February 2, 2009

Confession by Lee Gowan

Set in Broken Head, Saskatchewan, Confession features the story of Dwight Froese, who has confessed to killing his father in a duel. He says he did it to avenge his mother's death the day before. Dwight believes that his father was responsible. There's a problem, though. The coroner has ruled his mother's death an accident. Dwight's world has turned upside down and he's basically caught between a rock and a hard place. How did this happen to him? Where does he go from here?

Gowan presents an awesome story that illustrates the struggle between fate and religion. Is Dwight fulfilling his destiny or is his life in God's hands? I really enjoyed this book. The story builds in intensity until the shocking and dramatic climax which I did not see coming at all. The Editor's note at the end of the story was equally striking. I had to read it twice to make sure I understood its implications.

The presentation was unique in that Dwight's story jumps among three time periods in his life; when he was a young boy, just after his parents died; and later in life. I got a little lost a few times with the jumping around, but after awhile it wasn't too hard to follow. This technique worked so well with this story. I don't often reread books, but in this case I really want to read it again just to enjoy this aspect.

Dwight is definitely a distinctive character. When he wishes someone dead, they die. When he visits them, they are miraculously healed. Men and women are inexplicably drawn to him. This results in some pretty intricate and risky relationships with the people of the town. It's amazing how one person can have such an effect on so many people.

I'm not sure that I understood all of the religious parts and references. Even though I was raised in the Roman Catholic church, it's been years since I attended mass. I probably have forgotten a lot of what I learned in catechism. That's another reason to reread the book.


Want to learn more about this book? Random House synopsis and Browse & Search.

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