The Angel's Jig

The Angel's Jig

Book - 2016
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Facing the dwindling years of his life, an old man waits for his turn on the auction block, hoping to be sold to a family as decent as the one he is leaving. It is not the first time he has been here, and it may not be the last. Mute in life but loquacious on the page, the old man tells the colourful story of his rootless life. Abandoned by his family and first auctioned off at the age of seven -- "Ladies and gentlemen, this boy may not be a rare gem, but he is certainly worth a look" -- he moves from one farm to another, taking comfort from the people around him.
Publisher: Fredericton, New Brunswick : Goose Lane Editions, [2016]
ISBN: 9780864928672
Characteristics: 283 pages ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Grady, Wayne - Translator

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sharon711
Feb 13, 2018

The author explains the title as representing what happens when you lose your balance on the ice and flay away to remain upright... you are doing "The Angel’s Jig." The dance parallels the way our main character spends his temporal life, recovering his balance from one turn of fate to the next. This is where the contextual parts of the story are told. How he loses his mother and early family and ends up on the auction block, how he ricochets from one household to another looking for roots and affection, and finally, how he ends up back where he started, at the old person’s auction. Will he or won’t he end his days with the beautiful but tormented housekeeper?

But as the story progressed, I thought there was more to it. I suspect we are intended to conclude that our character is much more than he seems. At times, he assumes spiritual powers and is always doing some unfortunate person a good turn. His role is to spread happiness. I think his character borders on the angelic, even as the church plays pivotal roles in his life. Perhaps we are expected to conclude that our main character is an angel in human form? An intriguing novel, we learn about a past practice that would be unacceptable in today’s clime.

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