03-22-2010 02:29 PM
In Paul Doiron's novel, the Maine wilderness has as big a presence and is a major character in the story because it provides the backdrop for the entire plot. The conflict of preserving the forests or selling it off to development companies is an ongoing problem in all parts of the world. Here in Maine, it reaches fever pitch for all those who live in and make a living from the Maine wilderness.
In Eternal On the Water, the wilderness becomes one with the characters, not a focus of argument or destruction. The beauty of nature shines through as it teaches in its gentle way about the continuation of life, and much more.
I've participated in just three novels for First Look, so I'm not ready to compare authors' voices, although I do feel that Doiron, as a male, does approach his writing, and thus his style, a bit differently compared to a female author. That makes reading so interesting!
03-31-2010 07:34 PM
How does the Maine wilderness play a role or take on character in this story?
I think the wilderness affects them a great deal. The characters are often changed or molded by the ruggedness and isolation of this part of Maine. We find out that Mike changed significantly after graduating college and moving back to the area, so much so that Sarah leaves him. It seemed as he became increasingly rugged and isolated himself. Brenda, as well as her father and mother, seem to have been shaped by living in such a remote place with few opportunities and having to do what you could to get by. Mike's mother seems like now that she has left has changed, meaning that, again, the Maine wilderness makes people different when they are there. I think this is typical in very rural areas. The extreme isolation effects a certain self-reliance and hard-scrabbled existence that definitely shapes people.