The title, Continental Drift, confused me for most of the book. Here I’m thinkin’ continental drift in geologic terms like, well, you know, tectonic plates and continents drifting, um, apart? Or whatever?
I’m reading Russell Banks book, waiting and watching for the continent drifting thingy and wondering why the whole book’s about a guy moving his family to Florida and a Haitian chick trying to get to America and I’m wondering why I’d want to read about continents drifting anyway.
But it’s good so I kept going.
Come to find out, in the postscript at the end, Russ was talking about the demographic drift of people from their homes to someplace different in the hopes of a different, and hopefully better, life.
And all the sudden it became clear.
I’m a turd and probably shouldn’t read anything more challenging than Reader’s Digest. And maybe keep to the short stories.
Continental Drift is about the convergent stories of Bob Dubois and Vanise Dorsinville and their separate journeys to Florida. His from Catamount, New Hampshire fleeing boredom and predictability and middle age, and hers from Allanche, Haiti fleeing certain arrest after she and her family eat a ham her nephew has stolen from a hurricane wrecked truck.
It’s an alarmingly parallel story of similar hopes and dreams played out over the cultural differences that separate them.
But more importantly it’s a story about what happens when their sadly ordinary lives collide.
I don’t want to ruin it for you.
Run to the store and get and forget that I’m too stupid to understand the title.
Coming next- The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.