Since the author personally sent me this book to review, I am hesitant to say anything bad about it, but I thought the story was going to be different somehow. I was under the impression that this novel was about a woman’s journey across Canada to ‘find herself’ and that the subject matter would be deeper journey into the human psyche. Instead, this is pretty much straight up Chick Lit (not that there is anything wrong with that), but I found it (as a male) difficult to read. This is not a misogynist statement; I would have found it so even if the protagonist was a man.
Benny is certainly likeable enough, but her constant reliance on prescription medication and insistence on eating healthy gets a little boring by the time she hits the Manitoba/Ontario border. So I put it aside to read some other books but recently returned to it, since I don’t like to leave a book unfinished. As Benny travels west, the mood of the book changes, and so does Benny. She begins to eat more junk and fast food and meets up with some questionable characters along the way, giving the book a dose of the dark side of life especially in remote northern towns. She also meets up with some genuinely good people who help her along in her journey and makes some good friends as well. I’m glad I returned to West of Wawa. A satisfying ending awaits the reader!
West of Wawa is a fun, adventurous read if that is what you are looking for. A perfect book to take to the beach, read on an airplane, etc. so I gave it three stars on Goodreads. My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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Lisa de Nikolits is the author of four published novels; The Hungry Mirror (winner of 2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women’s Issues Fiction and long-listed for a ReLit Award), West of Wawa (winner of the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and a Chatelaine’s Editor’s Pick), A Glittering Chaos which was released in Spring 2013 and which tied to win the IIPY Silver Medal for Popular Fiction 2014. Her fourth novel, The Witchdoctor’s Bones was launched in Spring 2014.