My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There isn't really a main character in this book, which is one of the things that makes it amazing. There is a central story, but like most of life more than one person is involved in the story and the omniscient narrator moves from person to person (and back and forth in time) to give us different perspectives on the same events. It has been astoundingly cold and snowy in New England this winter and the parts of this book that are set in Montreal during the winter were easy for me to identify with. I loved the way Mandel ended the novel -- it goes a little way past where you think the end is and then backs up just a bit to show you another view of what you think went on.
"Not all of us will be cast in the greatest dramas; someone has to remember them. Or perhaps it's just this: memory is too unreliable to entrust a story to the hero alone. Someone else has to have observed the chain of events to lend credibility; if no one else remembers your story, how are you to prove it was real? The witness, the man in the car in the parking lot told himself miserably, is not unimportant." (p. 188)Mandel is from British Columbia which makes this a Canadian Book Challenge title.