Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: One Brother Shy

By Lynn Willoughby

One Brother Shy ~Terry Fallis

This beloved Canadian author was speaking at the Turner Valley library in the fall and I was lucky enough to hear him.  Mush like his books, he is witty, warm and very candid.  While none of his books is autobiographical, all have elements of his life story in them and he was happy to share stories and show slides about his life that seemed very familiar.

Although this book is more sober than others I have read, it is full of one liners, conversations one has with oneself and Fallis’ wry humour that often had me laughing out loud.  

Alex MacAskill is a shy, quiet, geeky software engineer who lives with his mother. There has only ever been the two of them and when she dies, he finds a photo in her safety deposit box that turns his world upside down.  He travels from Ottawa to London, to Moscow on a hunt to find the family he never knew existed.  And as his world expands, the incident in his past, know only to the reader as “Gabriel” recedes from his waking hours and the USSR plays quite a large part in the narrative. 

Do you remember where you were when Paul Henderson scored the winning goal?  I do!!

  • The Best Laid Plans
  • Albatross
  • and several others

Who Knew?

In 1955 Nikita Kruschev condemned “excesses” of the past decades, in the USSR.  Thousands of identical, concrete, utilitarian apartments were built in many cities inside the USSR.  They were drab, small, poorly constructed and clustered in huge communities, often making it difficult for residents to find their own home.

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