Warren, Dianne. Cool Water. HarperCollins Toronto 2010. F;10/11.
A lovely but light book, coincidentally read at about the same time we spent a couple of days in Kindersley Saskatchewan. It’s definitely in a traditional Canadian (and American too) bucolic genre: simple small-town folk in the prairie living their strange but very human comings-of-age, learning to be alone, falling in love, raising the family, dropping dead of heart attacks, etc. Although not with quite the tense complexity hidden under the beguiling mid-20th century straightness of Mrs. Bennett in As for Me and My House, the characters are mostly credible and real.
And Diane Warren rescues her pulling-together of a bunch of disparate short stories (they must be teaching that in the elite creative writing departments these days) from banality and self-importance through adorably sour irony.
Nothing to change anybody’s life here, but a beautifully-pitched read which will however blend in my mind into six or seven other pieces of nostalgic fiction and movies I’ve enjoyed over the past few years that scan like The Last Picture Show. 7.4/8.2