copyright 1993, E. Annie Proulx, Scribner. 352 pg. fiction.

This guy gets fucked over by his wife and by life in general. A continuing raw deal from the cosmos. He says to hell with it and moves to Newfoundland with his bratty kids. This is the first bit of independence / self-actualization he's ever exhibited, and, predictably, he screws it up something fierce.

Job, weather, house, kids, all conspire to make Quoyl a very frustrated very sad man. What am I doing here, will I ever be happy. Things look up, things look down. He meets some people, some good some terrible. Eventually he has to make a Big Decision - it is clear what he has to do to make his life robust and real.

A well-done running reference to knots - the main character's name is derived from "coil" and each chapter begins with a description and illustration of a specific knot. Knots being vital to Newfoundland fishermen, and emotional knots being what most of the characters are tangled up in. Maybe a hokey allusion, but it works. Easy to read, excellent read out loud, language that wants you to savor it.