Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review -- Consumption

by Kevin Patterson
Knopf Publishing, 2008
400 pages

Summary: The story of Victoria, a woman who as a child has tuberculosis and how it changes the course of her life and the community in which she lives.

Review: Kevin Patterson has written an interesting and insightful book about the Intuit tribe who live on the tundra of the Rankin Inlet. The story follows the lives of three generations of Intuit while foreigners from the South come and change an entire community's way of living. Through the use of a variety of characters, Patterson shows the reader how progress corrupts a small tribe leading to disease, murder, and suicide. This novel is very well written, but the scope and variety of characters sometimes takes away from the plot. Many of the characters are a challenge to understand, especially the heroine Victoria, whose childhood disease and treatment leads her to be an outsider in her own community. It is the coldness of the character and the decisions she makes for herself and her family that make her hard to embrace. Overall, a educational novel that makes you think about how good intentions can corrupt. Rating: *** out of 5.

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