I was filled with trepidation when I picked up I Am A Truck. (Trucks: boring, mostly unnecessary). At first I was like: is this a car commercial? Mostly, because at various points it extols the virtues of Chevys and Fords and puts them in their old argumentative battle of which is there, communicated via the character’s various passions.
Then I was like: I’m glad those French classes are paying off, because snippets of dialogue are written in French and I actually understood them.
Then I was like: OH NO! What is going to happen? And: what happened?
Michelle Winter’s book is not long. It’s more of a novella and it flashes past in an instant, at least if you are a reasonably fast reader.
In it, Rejean Lapointe vanishes just before his twentieth wedding anniversary. His beloved Chevy Silverado is found on the side of the road. His wife, Agathe, is devastated. It’s as though her husband has vanished into thin air. She lives outside a small, primarily English community, while she herself speaks French. With Rejean’s disappearance, she is forced to get a job and find some activities, and music, that she loves. She slowly gets on with her life, and eventually comes in contact with a man named Martin Bureau, who may know what happened to her husband.
The story, although improbable, is fresh, bittersweet and demonstrates how choices eventually are cumulative and bring you somewhere you didn’t expect.
Michelle Winters was at Event 1 (Between the Pages: An Evening with the Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists) at the 2017 Vancouver Writers Fest.