Sweetland by Michael Crummey
Sweetland is the name of a small island off the coast of Newfoundland inhabited by a band of quirky characters. The government is offering resettlement money to the residents on one condition: all the residents have to agree to leave. There are, naturally, a few holdouts including Moses Sweetland, a descendant of the founders of the community. What will it take to convince him to leave? Can he really be convinced?
I enjoyed the characters and their interactions, but then the second part of the book starts and it completely changes in tone. What was fun and quirky is now bleak and depressing. You know it will happen, Moses returns to the island, but then he loses his boat and is trapped there during the winter and the elements and the isolation takes its toll.
I enjoyed the writing and the story was well crafted, but I wasn’t prepared in such a change in the mood of the novel from the first to second half. I did enjoy it as a study of an ordinary man and the twists and turns his life takes throughout his lifetime.