Salvage by Jane F Kotapish

Salvage

Jane F Kotapish

I didn't think this book would be my kind of read but I found it enthralling. The narrator leaves a successful life in New York to live in small town Virginia and as the book unfolds, we discover the reason for her abrupt departure. A diary of relationships, we learn of her childhood as well as eavesdropping on conversations with her dead sister – both disquieting and eccentric. A novel which has that rare quality of combining humour with pathos.

Extract

I named my dead sister Nancy and talked to her in the privacy of my closet for eleven years. Nancy was an ornery creature, a rabble-rouser, furious over her early demise. Her favourite prank was to desecrate her house in some hideous way and then demand a new one. The authorities were surprisingly accommodating, time after time. No questions were asked. It turns out that heaven is full of houses. And so Nancy fashioned a quasi-nomadic existence for herself, traveling from one house to another, to another, each neighbourhood as tranquil and unremarkable as the last. I admit that several times I helped her plan her next attack. We made a creatively destructive team.

Parallels
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood