Friday, May 27, 2011

Whiteout by Brian Duren

Whiteout by Brian Duren

It's cold outside and the snow is falling fast, you can't see much beyond your window pane as the wind howls and the snow blocks out the daylight.  Night is coming and the temperature is dropping, while the snow threatens to erase the landscape.  Brrrr.

Spring is the perfect time to read WHITEOUT on the deck with no threat of snow in sight for months.

Paul returns home to Minnesota after his mother dies.  He has always felt disconnected from his family and has recurring bad dreams.  His father died in a Whiteout when Paul was three.  When Paul finds out that his family was once very happy, he sets out on a personal quest to find out the truth about the parents he never really knew.  What he finds buried deep in the past will haunt you.

Paul finds the love letters between his parents before they were married and reading them is voyeuristic.  I think it was one of my favorite parts of the novel.  I felt like I was reading over the character's shoulder and I couldn't get through the letters fast enough.

WHITEOUT is a multi-genre book.  It is a mystery, love story, and literary thriller that will keep you guessing till the very end.  The novel has a great geographic and historical backdrop, taking place during the 1930's through the 1980's.  WHITEOUT travels from Paris to the northern woods of Minnesota where it mainly takes place in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  Duren evokes the physical landscape of northern Minnesota with stark reality.

Reading WHITEOUT reminded me of my experiences in the Boundary Waters.  If you have never been to Minnesota to canoe in the wilderness, you need to come here and do it.  It is such an amazing experience. This area contains over a 1000 lakes and is so beautiful.  The area borders Canada and contains around a million acres of land that contain hiking trails and backwoods campsites.

I always say; the best way to travel is in your armchair while you read a good book.  So let WHITEOUT take you to the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) where you will be able to stay dry and warm by the fire.

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