Late Nights on Air

Give it to me quick :
Late Nights on Air tells the story of a group of characters from different walks of life working at a radio station up north in Yellowknife. Elizabeth Hay unravels their story, she tells us about their hopes and dreams, we see them grow and struggle. This novel won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Although the dust jacket says this is a book about Harry falling in love with a voice on a radio station, it is much, much more than that.

The preliminary feel (first 5 chapters) :
I’m not going to lie, I struggled to find a sense to where the book was taking me. I was just getting off a book about the English language and the two styles of writing were complete opposites. And then I found Gwen, I fell in love with her and needed to see where Hay took her. I’m glad I stuck with it.  Gwen reminded me of myself in some respects.

How did I feel when I finished the book ?
The author takes care of the reader and ties up all the loose ends nicely. I really appreciated that.

Feelings I had while reading the book ?
Longing for open spaces
Wonder and appreciation for nature

What kind of food or beverage would you serve with this book ?
Although I drank green tea while reading this book, I would serve it with hot coco. Homemade hot coco. Not the powdered stuff.

Favorite character ?
Without a doubt, Gwen. Gwen is one of those people that just doesn’t give up. She’s creative and experiments. I really enjoyed reading her journey.

Who would you recommend this book to ?
Someone who loves nature, the north.

A random thought about the book ?
This book made me think more about the sounds around me. To stop and listen to the distinctness of a voice, to the rustling of the leaves, to the beauty sound is.

A quote from the book ?
Page 9. “… Do you ever wonder where your voice goes ?”

Will I read this book again ?
No, I don’t think so.

Would I read other books by this author ?
Yes. I’d like to read Garbo Laughs if I ever come across it.

Something I didn’t like ?
Hinting that such character will eventually find so and so… or such character’s luck will change is not something I like in a novel. I want to discover these things on my own. I’m not going to judge the style based on just one book though, maybe this is her style. I’ll have to read a few more novels from her to better understand her writing.

Did you like the cover ?
I rather liked the cover. It does represent the book well without putting faces to the characters.

Best environment while reading this book ?
Quiet alone time without kids interrupting me every 5 minutes or wrapped up in some heavy blankets.

So there you have it.  I quite liked this book.  But hey, I’m a lover of nature, beauty and tranquility.  The furthest north I’ve ever been is Fort McMurray but Hay describes the barrens so well, I want to put this on my bucket list of places to visit.  As for the characters, we all know a Harry or a Gwen or a Dito.. if not, I’m sure you’ll come across them one day.

I’m off to get lost in another book…



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