Monday, February 21, 2011

The Sweater Curse by Leanne Dyck

Hello there everyone! Today we're featuring Leanne Dyck's novel The Sweater Curse!
    Aspiring knitwear designer Gwen Bjarnson is stuck in Purgatory. To escape, she must re-examine her life, journey through her past and right a wrong. But which wrong?
    Young and in love, she works to establish her career except fate has different plans. One rash act and she loses everything. Never resting, always seeking, and yearning for what she can no longer have, Gwen faces the truth:  if she remains, others are destined to die.
    How will she solve the mystery before it is too late?
    The earliest impressions my mind retains are a patchwork of senses:  the smell of bread baking, the wet tongue of a farm dog, and the crunch of autumn leaves. These memories are seductive. I could get lost in them.
    I must focus on cold hard facts.
    Place of birth:  Blondous, Manitoba.
    Date of birth:  April 14th, 1988.
    I was born into a world of big hair, padded shoulders, and disco. Freaky.
    Two years after my birth, we entered a new decade, the 90's. At twelve, we were in a new century--the twenty-first.
    Dead at the age of twenty-five.
The Sweater Curse:  A Modern Edda
    Leanne Dyck has crafted a tale as exotic and existential as Danish author Isak Dinesen's. Her novella begins in a Ship-of-Fools fashion, with a bitter voice in some mysterious waiting room beyond the grave. The speaker, Gwen Bjarnson, returns to her childhood years in Blondous, a small town in northern Manitoba with a major Icelandic population. Her sweet and easy-going father is a simple farmer, but her mother is an ambitious doctor bent on pursuing her career.
    Gwen finds solace in the love and care of her Auntie Oli, who shows her the art of crafts. "Knitting wove us together." But dark forces will take the family from their safe haven to Vancouver, where her storyteller dad falls quickly into alcholism. Stubbon but vulnerable Gwen is torn between two worlds, the tradition of her common-sense, hardworking forebearers and the demands of the modern life with its soul-crushing and superficial definition of success. To marry? To go to university? To become a fashion designer and as master of wools, colours, and patterns? Or to drown one's sorrows with liquor and the "sweet breath of Mary Jane"? In the creative atmosphere of Kitsilano, where "anything goes", love may come to Gwen, but is she ready to receive it? Temptations come at a price.
    Overhanging this brooding and complex story is the time-honoured tale of the Sweater Curse. Knitting a sweater for a man who is not yet a husband will bring tragedy. Creating modern characters against the fateful background of the sagas, Dyck gives them free will to choose their own destinies. This book defies genre definitions as it finds its unique place on the fiction shelves. Here's hoping Leanne Dyck returns many times to the intriguing roots of her family's past.
Lou Allin
She Felt No Pain (RendezVous Press, Oct. 2010)
That Dog Won't Hunt (Orca, Oct. 2010)
On Kindle:  A Little Learning and Man Corn Murders
Buy link:
Leanne Dyck
Author of (the thriller)The Sweater Curse

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