Eric Roberts' Weblog


February by Lisa Moore is the story of Helen O’Mara and her struggle to raise a family of four children by herself while dealing with grief of losing her husband Cal when the Ocean Ranger sinks off Newfoundland on Feb. 14, 1982.  At the time of the sinking, Helen’s son John is nine, daughters Cathy and Lulu are eight and seven respectively, and daughter Gabrielle has just been conceived. Told as series of memories, the novel jumps around in time mimicking the way one remembers life; as the reader watches, the children become adults, and Helen, struggling with grief and loneliness, reaches her mid-fifties before finding happiness.

In terms of character development, it is only John and Helen that are fully rendered in the novel.  Cathy’s teen pregnancy adds a twist, but even that event tells more about John and Helen then it does about anybody else.

Thematically, the ability of the human spirit to endure is richly developed, as is John’s coming of age.

This book won Canada Reads 2013.


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