By: David Vann
Location: FIC VAN
Genre: Coming of age- contemporary - literature
"This book reminds me of why I love literature. It's just brilliant. Vann is a storyteller extraordinaire".. Debbie
In crystalline and graceful prose, Aquarium takes us into the heart of a brave young girl whose longing for love and capacity for forgiveness transform the damaged people around her. Relentless and heartbreaking, primal and redemptive, Aquarium is a transporting story from one of the best writers working today.
A twelve-year old girl tells her story of discovery and hope in the context of a disturbing family drama in contemporary Seattle. Her single mom, Sheri, works hard at a container shipping facility, and each day Caitlin spends her afternoons grooving on the wonders at the aquarium. Her life may suffer from the grimness of poverty and the constraints of a tiny apartment in an industrial neighborhood, but she thrives through her imagination.
The many strange creatures at the aquarium seem to hold lessons for life for her. Some are so outrageously colorful and odd, but seem to get along fine in letting their freak flag fly in a protected cave-like space, while others camouflage themselves by emulating seaweed or coral in their environment. Vann places wonderful pictures of some of these beasties, so we get to look over her shoulder as she ponders their marvels. She befriends an old man there, who shares her fascination with these windows on another world.
"Anything is possible with a parent. Parents are gods. They make us and they destroy us. They warp the world and remake it in their own shape, and that’s the world we know forever after. It’s the only world. We can’t see what it might have looked like otherwise."