I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Enon by Paul Harding
Published by Random House on September 10, 2013
Genres: General Fiction
The next novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers, in which a father's grief over the loss of his daughter threatens to derail his life.
Powerful, brilliantly written, and deeply moving Paul Harding has, in Enon, written a worthy successor to Tinkers, a debut which John Freeman on NPR called "a masterpiece." Drawn always to the rich landscape of his character's inner lives, here, through the first person narrative of Charlie Crosby (grandson to George Crosby of Tinkers), Harding creates a devastating portrait of a father trying desperately to come to terms with family loss.
I read Tinkers several years ago and loved it. Paul Harding’s story has beautiful prose and a fascinating storyline. Although, I believe my interest in the novel was due to the fact that its main character, George Crosby is epileptic, a subject that I am interested in.
Enon is elegantly written and reread sentences due to their excellence. This would be an opportune moment to quote such passages as one does Shakespeare; although there are far too many and would face carpel tunnel if I were to do so.
As epilepsy takes such a major role in Tinkers I expected the disorder to be spotlighted in Enon as well only for it to be the contrary. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was knowing that seizures are not genetic nor should a family be overshadowed or defined by a disability. Everyone has their own story to tell and Enon is Charlie Crosby’s
Enon is a continuation of sorts, sloping down the Crosby family tree to George’s grandson Charlie. To connect these generations, the reader is given vivid memories of Charlie’s daughter Kate and with his Grandfather George with these reminisces woven together seamlessly.
Paul Harding’s book is one of grief, an emotion we can all relate to. Charlie bears the worst kind imaginable — the loss of a child. Charlie’s maddening decent through grief leads him to prescription drugs. Enon hit a low point for me (as it did for Charlie) when he visits his neighborhood drug dealer, it became too deep a hole for me bare and found it difficult to dig myself out. Although one cannot imagine how they would handle such a situation. Life is not an episode of Growing Pains whose problems can be solved in thirty minutes.
In the end, Enon is a novel of sadness, love and redemption and is beautiful to behold.