Etta And Otto And Russell And James by Emma HooperEtta And Otto And Russell And James by Emma Hooper

Etta And Otto And Russell And James

byEmma Hooper

Paperback | June 30, 2015

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Finalist for the 2017 Frank Hegyi Award for Emerging Authors

A bestselling debut that has captured readers' imaginations with a story of an elderly woman's last great adventure

     Eighty-two-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. So, early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 3,232 kilometres from Saskatchewan to Halifax. Her husband, Otto, wakes to a note left on the kitchen table. I will try to remember to come back, Etta writes to him. Otto has seen the ocean, having crossed the Atlantic years ago to fight in a faraway war. He understands. But with Etta gone, the memories come crowding in, and Otto struggles to keep them at bay. Russell has spent his whole life trying to keep up with Otto and loving Etta from afar. He insists on finding Etta, wherever she's gone. Leaving his own farm will be the first act of defiance in his life.
     As Etta walks farther toward the ocean, accompanied by a coyote named James, her past and present blur. Rocking back and forth with the pull of the waves, Etta and Otto and Russell and James moves from the hot and dry present of a quiet Canadian farm to a dusty burnt past of hunger, war, passion, and hope; from trying to remember to trying to forget.
Raised in Alberta, EMMA HOOPER brought her love of music and literature to the U.K., where she received a doctorate in musico-literary studies at the University of East Anglia, and currently lectures at Bath Spa University. She comes home to Canada to cross-country ski whenever she can.
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Title:Etta And Otto And Russell And JamesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.2 × 5.2 × 0.8 inPublished:June 30, 2015Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143190008

ISBN - 13:9780143190004

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful story with a lot of depth Just finished our book club discussion of this book. We loved the main characters, but the side characters also had such interesting stories if you delve into them a bit more. It's a quick and easy read, but there is lots to think about and discuss after you put it down.
Date published: 2017-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful story with a lot of depth Just finished our book club discussion of this book. We loved the main characters, but the side characters also had such interesting stories if you delve into them a bit more. Overall we thought this was a beautiful story that touched on themes of love, loneliness, the effects of war, memories/aging, and relationships.
Date published: 2017-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A poignant story of relationships Maybe it was the setting of Saskatchewan that drew my attention at the beginning of this book as I lived there for over 30 years. However, it was the story that kept me involved. The purpose of fiction is to give us an opportunity to suspend our disbelief and get swept up with the story. Not all things are supposed to be believable. Having said that, with characters that are devolving into dementia, who is to say what is believable and what is their reality, even if it is not ours.
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Snoooze Way too predictable, completely over done topic it was a chore to read nothing exciting in it at all Over written a great sedative 1 star is one too many
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read Wish there was more development on certain storylines but over well enjoyed.
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from real and vibrant It had an interesting and unique plot, which tells a very human story, that keeps you in suspense and leaving you wanting more. The characters were very real and vibrant. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too long Feels like a prolonged confusing read
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Canadian and confusing Etta, an 83 year old wife and friend sets out from rural Saskatchewan in search of the ocean. At home, husband Otto does not worry, begins his own creative path to bide his time. Infirm Russell , neighbor forms the basis of a rich backdrop of family, war and fizzled expdcratiobs. Enter James, a coyote . .get reporter and it gets weird. Flashbacks are spotty, confusing and disjointed. Better luck with your next book...
Date published: 2015-10-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An homage to Canada What a sweet and endearing novel! It’s hard to write too much about without alluding to what happens but it’s more of a novel you experience and slowly get to know the characters through until you feel you’re walking alongside Etta. Poor Otto though! I really felt for him and his mapping out her journey on the globe. I felt his sadness and sense of abandonment but it was clever how roles were reversed and Etta had once been the one left behind. This was a sad novel but a heartwarming one – well with a coyote called James who talks, there has to be some poignant moments. The whole story had an ethereal feel to it and a sense that like life, you are never meant to know or interpret everything as sometimes, things are best left open ended and vague. A sweet, meandering novel and a love song to Canada at the same time. I did struggle with the style of writing in places and the diary entries but all in all it's an interesting read.
Date published: 2015-09-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very nice summer read Loved this story! It was an easy read . I would recommend it to anyone looking for a light read. It was the story of three people who had known each other over a lifetime.
Date published: 2015-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book was amazing This is a book written in the style of journal-type entries. Style wise, it is similar to The Girl on the Train, only in Etta and Otto and Russell and James the mystery is the entangled lives of the three main characters. Etta and Otto and Russell and James is fast-paced and the story unfolds the deeper into the novel. There are some unexpected twists and turns and not all of the storylines have a definite conclusion; I suppose like in life things don’t always get wrapped up. In Etta and Otto and Russell and James, I found the early lives of the Etta, Otto and Russell to be the most interesting. Learning about life on a Saskatchewan farm, I could almost taste the ever-present dust. The triangle between the three characters was interesting; there is a strong connection; I wondered if all of them were happy at the end, or was this all they could have known. Because none of them had any children, the dynamics between the three was very intense. This is a great fresh, interesting and evolving in a fast-paced, sort of cliff-hanger of what is to be reveled next, type of book. Presently, many books seem to be written in this journal-style. This allows the reader to become involved into the characters’ lives as opposed to being only a spectator reading the events.
Date published: 2015-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sweet A sweet story of love, relationships and aging. Liked the magical elements (like the talking Coyote) and how they blended with the realistic details of farm life, war, and everyday rituals.
Date published: 2015-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sweet, touching, totally engaging. A simple title, I almost overload this one! Etta, Otto, Russell and James woven together in a touching story of life, love, and friendship.
Date published: 2015-03-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Etta and Otto and Russell and James This book was pretty awful! I would not recommend it to anyone - didn't have a great story and the ending was really bad! Won't be buying a book from this author again.
Date published: 2015-03-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Etta and Otto, An interesting concept but very strange development of the story. I couldn't get over the talking coyote.
Date published: 2015-03-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unique This novel is unique and one-of-a-kind and I was excited to read it. Although interesting, I found it odd and confusing and really it just wasn't for me.
Date published: 2015-02-07

Editorial Reviews

Winner of the 2017 Frank Hegyi Award for Emerging Authors"Hooper is a surprising and imaginative writer... [An] evocative read that brings a fresh lens to traditional themes of love, war and ultimately, taking the journey of a lifetime." --Maclean's"A celebration of the power of words--and of imagination." --Toronto Star"A magical, big-hearted book." --Elle“Etta and Otto and Russell and James is incredibly moving, beautifully written and luminous with wisdom. It is a book that restores one's faith in life even as it deepens its mystery. Wonderful!” —Chris Cleave, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Little Bee“The pages do turn quickly in this book...in Etta and Otto and Russell and James — a first novel by Emma Hooper — you're very interested in the characters. And you want to find out more about them. So as you turn the pages, you delve deeper into their hopes and where they are at the moment in their life. So it's a much different page-turner in a sense, but this is a lovely, lovely book.” —Nancy Pearl, NPR's "Morning Edition"“[A] sweet, disarming story of lasting love… Hooper’s steady hand creates the perfect setup for the unexpected.” —The New York Times Book Review“Quirky, offbeat... Modern life is full of people spouting rubbish about spurious emotional and spiritual ‘journeys.’ Etta’s trek as she comes to the end of her life and reckons with the past, has, in contrast, a real and worthwhile dignity to it.”—The Financial Times“In this haunting debut, set in a starkly beautiful landscape, Hooper delineates the stories of Etta and the men she loved (Otto and Russell) as they intertwine through youth and wartime and into old age. It’s a lovely book you’ll want to linger over.” —People “Heartfelt… In simple, graceful prose, Hooper has woven a tale of deep longing, for reinvention and self-discovery, as well as for the past and for love and for the boundless unknown.”—San Francisco Chronicle“[Hooper’s] crisp, unadorned prose beautifully captures her characters' sentiments, and conveys with compassion but also a degree of distance their experiences of love and pain, longing and loss… this novel pulsates with an energy that can best be described as raw but also highly restrained. “—Chicago Tribune“Hooper has conjured a character who is a gift… As the lines blur between Etta’s and Otto’s memories, and even between their physical bodies, readers emerge with a deeper appreciation for life and for its suffering against its backdrop of majesty.”—Dallas Morning News“A bit like a fairy tale, Etta and Otto and Russell and James is whimsical, even magical. A bit like the Canadian prairie, it is spare, yet beautiful.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram“A poetic, poignant tale.”—US Weekly“Hooper’s debut is a novel of memory and longing and desires too long denied…To a Cormac McCarthy–like narrative—sans quotation marks, featuring crisp, concise conversations—Hooper adds magical realism…. The book ends with sheer poetry…A masterful near homage to Pilgrim’s Progress: souls redeemed through struggle.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"Hooper’s spare, evocative prose dips in and out of reality and travels between past and present creating what Etta tells Otto is “just a long loop.” This is a quietly powerful story whose dreamlike quality lingers long after the last page is turned."—Library Journal (starred review)"Hooper, with great insight, explores the interactions and connections between spouses and friends—the rivalries, the camaraderie, the joys and tragedies—and reveals the extraordinary lengths to which people will go in the name of love."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Drawing on wisdom and whimsy of astonishing grace and maturity, Hooper has written an irresistibly enchanting debut novel that explores mysteries of love old and new, the loyalty of animals and dependency of humans, the horrors of war and perils of loneliness, and the tenacity of time and fragility of memory."—Booklist (starred review)