In the opening chapter, the frail and elderly Keith O’Reilly witnesses the vicious murder of his neighbour by a pizza delivery boy. Up the street, another resident steals construction materials and equipment to fuel his wife’s gambling addiction. The secrets and lives of the other inhabitants of MacKay Street, Newfoundland are revealed in successive chapters of the novel, which jumps from house to house and back and forth through forty years of history.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
After reading this novel, we will never look at the quaint painted houses of Newfoundland in quite the same way! This was no tourist attraction -just a tough, gritty neighbourhood dealing with lousy weather and economic hardship. It was a bit tricky to figure out the age and relationships of the characters as the plot jumps around in time but rewarding to piece the puzzle of the interconnecting stories together. The author does a great job of illustrating how memory and perspective shifts over time.