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The Erratics
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
12 posts | 10 read | 10 to read
The family secrets are only just beginning to unravel... When her elderly mother is hospitalised after an accident, Vicki is summoned to her parents' isolated and run-down ranch home in Alberta, Canada, to care for her father. She has been estranged from her parents for many years (the reasons for which become quickly clear) and is horrified by what she discovers on her arrival. For years her mother has suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness but carefully hidden her delusions and unpredictable behaviour behind a carefully guarded mask, and has successfully isolated herself and her husband from all their friends. But once in hospital her mask begins to crack and her actions leave everyone baffled and confused ... and eventually scared for their lives. Meanwhile Vicki's father, who has been systematically starved and harruanged for years, and kept virtually a prisoner in his own home, begins to realise what has happened to him and embarks upon plans of his own to combat his wife. The ensuing power play between the two takes a dramatic turn and leaves Vicki stuck in the middle of a bizzare and ludicrously strange family dilemma. All this makes for an intensly gripping, yet black-humoured family drama which will leave you on the edge of your seat.
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TheRegular_coffeeandbooks
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
Pickpick

I enjoyed the book once I got going and agree it‘s a memoir that reads like a novel. But there were parts for me where I wanted more. A lot is left unsaid which left the experience feeling a little disjointed for me. It really is unlike any memoir I‘ve ever read. I‘ll probably be thinking about it for a while.

CarolynM I have a friend who liked this one a lot, but I don't think it's my cup of tea🙂 3mo
1 like1 comment
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Joanne1
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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Pickpick

This year‘s #stellaprize winner is a very strange but beautifully (if unusually) written memoir of two sisters dealing with the fall out of ageing parents. Although in this case the mother is bats*$t crazy and at serious risk of killing her dominated husband or send them both broke chasing internet scams.

46 likes1 stack add
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Joanne1
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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It‘s the end of the school holidays here. My kids have been madly building LEGO creations - this one is a boarding school - while I‘ve been reading this remarkable memoir. #stellaprize

LapReader Much nicer rooms than at my boarding school. 5mo
MrsMalaprop We‘re at the end of week one here in WA. I‘d like to read this one. 5mo
Jeg Sounds like something I might like. Shall add it to my list. 5mo
Joanne1 @LapReader they‘re quite lush, clearly boarding school is just a fictional place for them both! @MrsMalaprop good luck with week 2, mine a back at school tomorrow. @Jeg definitely worth a read and it‘s not a long book so you‘ll get through it very quickly. 5mo
39 likes4 comments
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Aimeesue
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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LeahBergen The Okotoks Erratic is very close to my city. It‘s a popular little day jaunt and pretty much everyone has a picture of themselves with it in their family photo album. 😆😆 One of our local breweries, Big Rock, is named for it (as that‘s what it‘s always been called 😆). 6mo
Aimeesue @LeahBergen Wow! I was taken with the descriptions of the terrain, and the Rockies. I once lived on the Front Range in Colorado (Ft. Carson) and it really took me back. We didn't have any erratics, though we did have a lot of local breweries. 😂 6mo
Aimeesue Also, I should have put off reading this one until the #nyrbbookclub discush of Cassandra was done. SO many MH issues this week! This one was a lot more disturbing, all the more so because it was true. (edited) 6mo
LeahBergen I‘ll have to hunt down a copy (for when I‘m in the mood for “disturbing” 😆). 6mo
26 likes4 comments
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Aimeesue
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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Have convinced #Stella that the footstool is a completely suitable place for sitting, in lieu of my lap, but she keeps throwing me the side eye if I dare to move my foot. Apparently the pibble princess requires pillows and support for her chin.
#Suzie is much less particular.

Aimeesue Stella would also like to note that The Erratics won the Stella Prize. Although not the Stella behind the prize, she nevertheless approves. (edited) 6mo
DGRachel Too cute! 6mo
24 likes2 comments
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ClairesReads
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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Pickpick

The Erratics is, in my opinion, the best kind of memoir- one that reads like a novel, that when you stop reading you marvel that it is true. Laveau-Harvie‘s tells the story of the psychologically damaging nature of the relationship between parents and children that endured in her family throughout her parents‘ lives. This is an exceptional story, that is told with a level of tenderness, and vulnerable honesty.

McFarchie You couldn't make the characters in this memoir up. I loved it. 6mo
ClairesReads @McFarchie I totally agree- it was a great read 6mo
Redheadrambles Nice book cover matching to background! 6mo
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles thank you! This one was hard to find a backdrop for! 6mo
39 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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ClairesReads
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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Tackling the #Stellaprize winner this week

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Abailliekaras
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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Our latest episode is up! @mr_annie & I discuss the Women‘s Prize Shortlist 📚 (so many thoughts) & ‘The Erratics‘. A darkly funny memoir about caring for ageing parents in Canada, this won the 2019 Stella Prize & is becoming one of the most talked-about books of the year.
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Apt for Mother‘s Day - with a twist: unlike any mother-daughter story you‘ve ever read. Vicki Laveau-Harvie‘s mother is one of the great characters of all time. Recommended.

ClairesReads Looking forward to listening 😊 7mo
Abailliekaras @clairesreads thanks! ☺️ 7mo
McFarchie I loved this book! 7mo
Abailliekaras @McFarchie me too - I‘ve been recommending it far and wide! 7mo
46 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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AntoinetteBuchanan
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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Pickpick

Read on two sittings and it gave me nightmares in between. I‘m going to have to process this a bit more. Also the most accurate description of the experience of medically induced ‘roid rage. I can see why it won the Finch Memoir Prize and am pleased it beat some of the others on the Stella Prize short list but still not convinced it should have won.

readordierachel Sounds intense! 7mo
AntoinetteBuchanan It really was. 7mo
Joanne1 Im still waiting on the library list for this one. I‘ve read a number from the Stella long list. Some I wonder how they got there at all. I‘m curious to know who you think should have won? 7mo
AntoinetteBuchanan Too Much Lip was my pick. This was the best of the memoirs, though. 7mo
23 likes1 stack add4 comments
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AntoinetteBuchanan
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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Perfect Saturday morning. Husband snoring in bed with the dogs, a big pot of decaf, favourite cup and this beautiful autumn light.

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AntoinetteBuchanan
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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“I blame the landscape, pining like a suitorless spinster for the snow...” I‘m going to enjoy this!

review
Abailliekaras
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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Pickpick

I loved this memoir. Vicki Laveau-Harvie tells the story of her parents with warmth, dark humour & compelling, can‘t-put-it-down prose. Her parents are dysfunctional & her mother a villain - you could not make up these stories. Laveau-Harvie is honest about how this has affected her, but sees the comic side & is a wonderfully warm, engaging story-teller. A unique story but the family issues will resonate widely. Highly recommended. #StellaPrize

JennyM Such a lovely pic. The book sounds great, and the cover is beautiful 8mo
Abailliekaras Thanks @JennyM - yes I definitely recommend this one! 8mo
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