I wanted to love Canada by Richard Ford because the premise seemed infinitely interesting to me: After they prove to be bad bank robbers, in lieu of a life in an orphanage, a couple sends their son to stay with a neighbor’s brother, who is a stranger to the boy, and lives in a strange new country. The author certainly has a way with words, but ended up waxing philosophical too much about life, family, and fate. This novel was bloated at 400 pages and would’ve benefited from a much shorter first act—our protagonist doesn’t even reach the titular country until the halfway point. Occasionally thought-provoking, but ultimately disappointing.

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