Isn't this a great picture of him?
My biggest problem with Michael's books is the photography on the cover. So I was happy to find a good picture of Michael.
This is the cover of his new book "Sweetland". Yuck! But let's ignore that because the novel has much to say.
"Sweetland" is not only the name of the character, but also the name of the small island off the southern coast of Newfoundland.
Moses Sweetland, the protagonist, is symbolic of all those who have left Newfoundland, often travelling to Ontario to find work. But they always felt the pull to return and Moses finally did return.
He was a cod fisherman until the moratium ended that, then a lighthouse keeper until lighthouses were automated.
Now, Moses is almost 70, and the government is trying to relocate the residents of this remote island. They will pay them to move so that the government will no longer have to provide essential services.
However, the program only takes effect if everyone in the community agrees and Moses is the hold-out. Threats are not working because Moses is so connected to the land. Quote: "It was as if he'd long ago been measured and made to the island's exact specifications."
I thought this novel had great meaning. I read this:
"Moses is, in many ways, the personification of traditional Newfoundland, clinging to life in the face of unstoppable, constant change."
There are interesting characters, little plot, but marvellous description of the land. It seems to be a love story to Newfoundland.