Fireworks are exploding in the background, so it seems fitting to write about my 13th and final book in this year's Canadian Book Challenge. The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson was exactly what I expected - quirky, experimental, creative. But it was also exactly what I didn't expect - heavy, meaningful and heartbreaking. I devoured this small novel and every page was wonderful. I've been sticking to fairly linear storytelling this year so this was a nice break from that, reminding me of some of my favourite writers - Jeanette Winterson, Daphne Marlatt, George Elliot Clarke. The two main characters are so rich and loveable and it was very hard to say good-bye to them. CS Richardson is a book designer turned novelist so I was especially fond of his designer's sense. Structuring the novel around the alphabet, using the scale of a small notebook, the wonderful single opening page in robin's egg blue and the perfect description of font choice - these details added immensely to my whole experience of reading his words. What a perfect ending to this year's challenge.
I can't wait to start this all over again tomorrow! And if anyone out there is looking for the motivation to read a little more Canada, come join the challenge.