Natural Order

August 23, 2011|
Natural Order by Brian Francis
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Joyce Sparks has lived the whole of her 86 years in the small community of Balsden, Ontario. As a girl, Joyce allowed herself to imagine a future of adventure in the arms of her friend Freddy Pender, whose chin bore a Kirk Douglas cleft and who danced the cha-cha divinely. Though troubled by the whispered assertions of her sister and friends that he wasn't 'normal,' Joyce adored Freddy for all that was un-Balsden in his flamboyant ways. When Freddy led the homecoming parade down the main street, his expertly twirled baton and outrageous white suit gleaming in the sun, Joyce fell head over heels in unrequited love.

Years later, Joyce married Charlie, who was nothing like Freddy, and bore a son who very much reminded her of Freddy. Tragic news of her childhood love arrived and Joyce was forced to face how far she should to go to protect the fate and life of her son and the implications her decision had.

Today, as her life ebbs away in the bed at Chestnut Park Nursing Home, Joyce ponders the terrible choices she made as a mother and wife and doubts that she can be forgiven, or that she deserves to be. When a young nursing home volunteer named Timothy appears, so much like her long lost son, Joyce wonders if there be some grace in her life after all.

Voiced by an unforgettable and heartbreakingly flawed narrator, Natural Order is a masterpiece of empathy, a wry and tender depiction of the end-of-life remembrances and reconciliations that one might undertake when there is nothing more to lose, and no time to waste.

Title:Natural Order
Format:Kobo ebook
Published:August 23, 2011
Publisher:Doubleday Canada
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780385671545

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