Welcome to the Charades blog tour!
[ Hosted by the lovely Trisha at TrishaJennReads ]
I am incredibly excited to take part in the Blog Tour for Todd Foley’s beautiful novella that’s still fresh off the press. It’s a beautiful short novella that was published in May of this year – I read it in an hour. And then again a a second hour. I also discovered that this is available on Kindle Unlimited, so check out the other stops on the tour and then go grab yourself a copy and a cup of coffee (*ahem* Tim Hortons?)!
- June 28th: Anthony Moore @ stuffgradslike.com
- July 1st: Trisha @ trishajennreads.com
- July 4th:
Katelynn @ Books & BottlesWhy, hello there!
- July 7th: Andrew Zahn @ zahndrew.com
- July 9th: Jim Woods @ jimwoodswrites.com
Who are you? What do you do, and why? How do you make everyone believe it? How far will you go to keep it that way?
Meet Otis, an elderly owner of a meat shop in Vancouver, Canada. Slow to move but quick to observe, Otis knows all about his faithful customers – the food they eat, the company they keep, the secrets they unwittingly divulge and the perceptions they’re determined to sustain. But what’s Otis to do with this unwanted burden? How can he bring about their freedom and deliverance? What will happen to them if he doesn’t?
Set in a rainy metropolis as diverse as its residents, Charades examines the narratives we fashion and the measures we take to maintain those stories.
Rating: 4 / 5
Started: June 27th, 2016
Finished: June 27th, 2016
Wine Pairing: Forget wine, all I want is a Tim Hortons chili.
First, a huge thank you to Todd for writing this magnificent little novella and providing a copy for review!
Otis is an affable protagonist that captures your attention before you realize it. He sneaks up on you (which isn’t an admirable trait in anyone who wields a knife as a profession) and holds your hand gently as you’re lead through the day to day life in Vancouver as a butcher. He is quiet, approachable, and hard working. It sounds simple – kind of like how life is quite often. It passes before your eyes, your days float and begin to meld together and you’re flipping another page on the calendar before you know it.
To be honest, throughout most of the story I thought this was a beautiful novella that brought out the subtleties of day to day life – that it zeroed in on focusing on the world around you instead of going through life like a zombie most of us do (especially with smart phones all attached at our hips). I have always found there to be a certain magic in the detailed description and observation of life – whole life that extends beyond your bubble. I devoured the novella and loved every page of it! It’s beautiful in it’s simpleness, and following an elderly butcher in Vancouver was so different from my own life I couldn’t help being sucked in. Foley’s writing is so fluid and familiar, it’s like you’re talking with an old friend.
I sometimes stop by the public library on my way home. It’s a bit out of my way, but it’s a sight to be held. Modeled after the Colosseum, I feel like I’ve been transported to a simpler time. Well, not simple; it was a venue for watching humans kill each other for sport. Learning is a much more admirable activity.
But while the gentleness with which he builds Otis and his customers assimilates you into the life of a Vancouver native, it contrasts with the plunge as Foley delves deeper beneath the covers and the masks that people build up around themselves. There is irony and there is simplicity. Indirectly we explore vices, flaws, weaknesses, mistakes: the darkness of humanity that we all carry a little piece of. The same people we know in the cubicle beside us or that serve us coffee all hold secrets and have skeletons in their closets – just like you and I.
Everyone has at least one vice. Something to which they constantly need access or within close proximity. A sense of security. An extension of their identity. A habit they can’t break.
“Charades examines the narratives we fashion
and the measures we take to maintain those stories.”
Oh yes, this line from the synopsis sums it all up nicely.
A fascinating and intriguing read that had me hooked until the end, Charades is an absolute gem. The range and depth of the characters and their secrets kept me guessing, Foley’s writing had me hooked, and the ending – oh that ending! Perfection.
… intrigued yet? 😉
About Todd Foley:
Todd Foley is an American who made the move to British Columbia, Canada, where he lives with his wife and growing family. He is the author or Eastbound Sailing and Man Speak. He finds inspiration for storytelling via his unorganized bookshelf, a nonsequiter Netflix queue and using public transit.