Having read Martel’s very enjoyable Life of Pi a while back I was happy to find his latest in a Montreal second hand store. Turns out that synchronicity is relevant, as Martel is based in Montreal now as is a large chunk of this story of a boy who loses his parents, then one day wakes up as a woman. Martel writes with a sense of poignancy that grabs you and takes you underneath the skin of his main character. There is distance between the character and his/her life but over-ridingly a sense of joy and life. As she/he moves from place to place, person to person you get a sense of the slowness of life and growth as it can sometimes exist – a slowness that does not exist for the book, where every page pulls you forward to the next. A great book.