I read The Shipping News back in 2003 and it impressed me, especially it’s epically Gothic first half. It’s second half is relatively normal but then the writing is so strong that you can’t help emoting strongly. It’s also not every day you read a book with illustrations depicting the various types of knots!
Quoyle’s life is going down the drain. His purely evil wife (and trust me you’ll hate her from the start) is cheating on him and has given his two children up for adoption. To make matters worse Quoyle hates being the reporter of a mediocre newspaper.
As karma has it his Quoyle’s wife is impaled and lover is dead (and this is the best bit of the whole novel) his children are returned and in order to start anew he moves to a small village in Newfoundland (his father was Canadian) and is assigned to cover the Shipping News.
Although his city ways clash with the villagers mentality, Quoyle eventually blends in with the natives and even strikes up a romance. Of course there’s a happy ending but the reader knows that an unhappy one would spoil the book.
I would say that the Shipping News is heart warming novel but what i like most is how Proulx manages to fit in two totally different writing styles and make it seem so seamless. I could go on praising this novel but honestly you MUST read this one ASAP. Trust me on this one