"Leo Brent Robillard's The Road to Atlantis is a poignant, resonant tale of a family's dissolution following the death of their daughter. In gorgeous, gripping prose, he explores how individuals cope with tragedy and how grief sifts through the generations until it can finally settle and heal. This is a novel that echoes with human emotion and meaning and that deserves to be read."

-- Lauren Carter, author of Swarm

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Arlene Smith's Review at Indigo Books

Some authors write about war to glorify it. Others write to condemn it. Leo Brent Robillard writes to try to understand it and to help his readers grapple with it as well. His newest book, Drift, explores the complexities of the Boer War with clear-eyed acceptance of the brutality and curious insight into the reasons why people end up in war zones.

Robillard is a poet and educator. That those are character traits and not jobs is evident in his writing. His books are literary works with a poetic feel that comes through even when he is describing the shattering effects of combat. His books entertain, but they teach us something as well.

In Drift, two young men from Manitoba sign up to fight in the Second Boer War. Will goes to the heat and dust of South Africa with trepidation; Mason with enthusiasm and bravado. While there they meet an Australian nurse fleeing from an overprotective family, a journalist lubricated for his journey with generous portions of alcohol, and a hot air balloon pilot conscripted into service as an elevated spy. They discover that it doesn't matter how or why people drift into war, once there, all face the same uncertainty, terror, and search for love that happen when a shared, but misunderstood, humanity hangs in the balance.

Robillard explores the idea that often people don't go to war, they go away from something else. Drift is a beautifully written story of a war that hasn't been explored to the same extent as the World Wars.

Indigo Books

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