(From the publisher):
"The future casts its shadow on the past. In this way, first gestures contain everything ..."
Set in Canada and Egypt, and with flashbacks to England and Poland after the war, The Winter Vault is a spellbinding love story that juxtaposes momentous historical events with the most intimate moments of individual lives.
In 1964, a newly married Canadian couple settle into a houseboat on the Nile just below Abu Simbel. At the time of the building of the Aswam dam, Avery Escher is one of the engineers responsible for the dismantling and reconstruction of a sacred temple, a "machine-worshipper" who is nonetheless sensitive to their destructive power. Jean is a botanist by avocation, passionately interested in everything that grows. They met on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, witnessing the construction of the Seaway as it swallowed towns, homes, and lives. Now, at the edge of another world about to be inundated in the name of progress, much of what they most believe in is tested.
When a tragic event occurs, nearing the end of Avery’s time in Egypt, he and Jean return to separate lives in Toronto; Avery to school to study architecture and Jean into the orbit of Lucjan, a Polish émigré artist whose haunting tales of occupied Warsaw pull her further from her husband, while offering her the chance to assume her most essential life.
Original title: The Winter Vault
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ North America→ Canada: After 1867
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Literary Fiction/classics