Welcome to the Charades Blog Tour!
Author: Todd Foley
Publisher: Cedar Rock Publishers
Release Date: May 26, 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction
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Who are you? What do you do, and why? How do you make everyone believe it? How far will you go to keep it that way? Meet Otis, an elderly owner of a meat shop in Vancouver, Canada. Slow to move but quick to observe, Otis knows all about his faithful customers – the food they eat, the company they keep, the secrets they unwittingly divulge and the perceptions they’re determined to sustain. But what’s Otis to do with this unwanted burden? How can he bring about their freedom and deliverance? What will happen to them if he doesn’t? Set in a rainy metropolis as diverse as its residents, Charades examines the narratives we fashion and the measures we take to maintain those stories.
My rating: 5 stars out of 5
Todd Foley has woven a story that takes the mundane moments of interacting with acquaintances and makes them scenes of intrigue.
Todd’s characters are entertaining, real, and multifaceted. The prose moves quickly, despite a seemingly simple concept–that of a man who runs a meat shop and wonders who his customers are outside of their brief commercial interactions. The prose is lovely, spirited, and natural. The characterization of the City of Vancouver makes the setting another key member of the cast. Full of surprising moments, revelations, and the magic of relationships – Charades is an eye opening read that will have you questioning the masks of your fellow commuters.
I forced myself to digest this short book in small sittings so it would last longer.
Following Otis along on his day was both familiar (I lived near Vancouver during uni) and completely enthralling. Everyday lives are much more interesting than we think. Todd takes this idea and runs with it (please excuse the cliche). As each new cast member was introduced I found myself imagining all kinds of scenarios for them. Who are they really? Why is she so determined to move through life so quickly? Why is he so tired; is he doing something he shouldn’t?
And then…and then I got to the climax– and hoo-boy, is it a good one–Todd surprised the heck out of me. I was not suspecting him to take the story where he did. And I’m thrilled about it. His story took me along a path that seemed familiar at first but wound around so gently that I didn’t realize he was taking me to a roller coaster drop.
This novella is short but so worth the read. Slip it into your TBR when you need a break and it will satisfy.
Gorgeous prose, real characters, a delicious read.
Some lines I noted down:
“The people are the city’s oxygen.” –Mmmm….
“Everyone is so much more than they appear.” –Yup.
“Contemplation provides a nice escape from reality.” –YES!
“You can’t fix what you don’t understand, Otis.” –Oooo! Intense.
About the author
Todd Foley is an American who made the move to British Columbia, Canada, where he lives with his wife and growing family. He finds inspiration for storytelling via his unorganized bookshelf, a non-sequiter Netflix queue and using public transit. Connect with him on Twitter @tdiddy1234
and follow his musings at scribbledrevisions.com
Check out the rest of the stops on the Charades Blog Tour: