Etta and Otto and Russell and James
‘Genuinely moving’ Guardian
‘Delightful’ Mail on Sunday
‘Charming, fresh, touching . . . cuts through to the heart’ Sunday Times
‘Tell me about home, please. Tell me about the weather. About the heat or dust or still-ness. Anything. And tell me about you. I keep your photo on the side without the gun. For balance.’
This is a love story that spans fifty years, three lives, two continents and an ocean. It tells of school teacher Etta, who settles in the Canadian prairies during the Great Depression and of the two pupils who fall in love with her: Russell, a city boy who takes to farming despite his twisted leg, and Otto, who struggles in school but always tries hard – even when he’s sent to fight a war in a distant land. It is a story of love and joy, pain and passion, memory and forgetting – and one incredible journey. It is the story of Etta and Otto and Russell and James.
Writing that easily equals that of the Booker-winning Richard Flanagan...[and] as readable and gripping as any thriller. Only the thrills offered by this bright new star of literature are metaphysical and unexpected and will leave you thinking on a new level about the connections between men, women and places. * The Times * Beautifully written...this deserves to follow in the footsteps of 2014's big debut novels The Miniaturist and Elizabeth Is Missing. * Daily Express * Intriguing... a clear and beautifully unadorned prose style... Hooper has written an interesting, nuanced and genuinely moving book. * Guardian * Hooper has more or less nailed the 'Amelie' charm with this sweet, disarming story of lasting love...Hooper shows great restraint in balancing the quirky with the universal, blurring the lines between them. This may be the best novel to meaningfully feature windblown dust. Hooper's steady hand creates the perfect setup for the unexpected. To paraphrase Wallace Stevens: A man and a woman are one. Two men, a woman and a coyote are one. * New York Times * Luminous debut...there's a lovely musicality to her prose - care and attention have been spent on the rhythms and melody of her words...wonderfully tender. * Sunday Express * Her debut novel is a magical, big-hearted book about one woman's walk to the sea. If Wes Anderson's stylised dream worlds make you happy, you need a copy of Etta and Otto and Russell and James. * Elle Magazine * A fan of Audrey Niffenegger and Alice Munro, Hooper's sense of playfulness comes across in the book's gentle magical realism' * The Observer * charming, sweet...there is a singing simplicity that cuts through to the heart of things...fresh and touching * Sunday Times * [A] delightful debut novel * Mail on Sunday * Beautifully written...a powerfully moving account. * Sunday Express * Picked as one of the hot authors to watch in 2015. * The Times * A sweet, redemptive message ...Etta's trek as she comes to the end of her life and reckons with the past, has a real and worthwhile dignity to it. * Financial Times * There's a huge buzz around this debut novel. * Red Online * Canadian Emma Hooper is sure to be 2015's face of literary quirk. * Grazia * The friends' life stories unfold in beautifully written, bite-sized chapters that ebb and flow between past and present like the sea Etta is seeking. Unusual, touching and utterly memorable. * Choice Magazine * An irresistibly enchanting debut novel * Booklist * Hooper, with great insight, explores the interactions and connections between spouses and friends - the rivalries, the camaraderie, the joys and tragedies - and reveals the extraordinary lengths to which people will go in the name of love. * Publishers Weekly * This is a quietly powerful story whose dreamlike quality lingers long after the last page is turned. * Library Journal Review * Magical... such wonderfully assured storytelling: it's been a very long time since a book has taken me by the hand - and the heart - as this one has. * Sarah Winman (international bestselling author of When God Was a Rabbit) * Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper is incredibly moving, beautifully written and luminous with wisdom. It is a book that restores one's faith in life even as it deepens its mystery. Wonderful! -- Chris Cleave
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