Title: West of Wawa
Author: Lisa De Nikolits
Publisher: Inanna Publications
Pub Date: September 2011
Source: I received this book for my participation in the tour.
I am truly honored to have read this book. I read it in one sitting and truly loved the book. I couldn’t put it down because I thought that Benny’s journey was a train wreck waiting to happen.
I had to include the above map because there is actually a town in Canada called Wawa. Its actually in Ontario. As I was reading the book I had to check because in one point of the book its mentioned.
Okay so on to my review.
Benny is 29 years old and has left her home of Australia. She is running from her life and everything in her life especially her ex husband and her feeling as failing as an artist. She got a really bad review of her art work and has taken it to heart. She thought that this would make it but instead it broke her. She decided that she was going to pack up and move to Canada specifically Toronto. (I think this was the perfect place for her to begin her journey.)
Benny feels as though Toronto is the place to begin her new life. She managed to secure a furnished apartment before hitting Toronto and basically as soon as her feet hit the ground she has begun a job search. She manages to find something right away and is hired as a graphic designer. Thankfully her new boss will begin the paper work so that she can get a permanent residency in Canada.
Benny works hard at a job she doesn’t really like but she manages to stick it out until her papers come and even a little longer because her boss realizes that she will leave so she stays as a sort of I will prove you wrong thing.
During her stay in Toronto she meets a neighbor across the way, Eli. He is a musician and likes to dabble in some drugs. This is where we first see Benny dipping into them to. They have a very casual relationship (friends with benefits). She takes it to heart when he announces he is leaving for Vancouver.
I think this is where Benny decides she needs to see more of Canada and to discover herself. So begins her journey across Canada. She books a ticket to Newfoundland. Lisa nailed the people of Newfoundland. As I was reading this I could actually feel like I was there. Chris reminded me of someone that I knew from there.
From there she went to Halifax, another amazing Atlantic province. Sadly for Benny she has just arrived after they were hit by a major storm. Its there that she meets Teenie, who is on the phone yelling that she was sent there to work and there is no one there to work with. Benny over hears this and offers her service as a graphic designer. Realizing she is stuck she takes Benny up on her offer. This was the point of the book that I knew I had to read it because my little home town is mentioned as being one of the cities hit by the storm.
As her journey continues Benny meets all kinds of different characters along the way (and they were all special kind of people I tell you) and I have to say this is the point with Benny that I wanted to throttle her because she was making such bad decisions. In regards to sleeping arrangements and drugs. I think she put herself in situations that could have been avoided personally.
In the end I think Benny needed to take this cross country journey to realize that she wasn’t perfect and that she needed to accept the failure to be able to move on. It was nice that throughout the book we discovered more about her ex husband. I have to say in the beginning I really didn’t like him but as the book progressed I started to like him. I loved taking this journey with Benny.
I just wanted to thank WOW for allowing me to be a part of this tour. I love discovering a book about Canada and a Canadian author. I am so looking forward to reading more of Lisa’s books.
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