2010 BMO Winterset Award — Winner
When retiree Keith O’Reilly witnesses the murder of his neighbour by a pizza delivery man one night during a snowstorm, a unique series of stories begins to unfold.
As the narrative seamlessly moves from neighbour to neighbour, house to house, the reader begins to understand, not only the circumstances that led to the murder, but the private secrets and personal struggles of many of the McKay Street residents.
Travelling through the changing viewpoints of a more than a dozen of people in a small residential neighbourhood in St. John’s, Newfoundland, The Glass Harmonica looks at the way common memories and shared experiences bend and warp as individuals recall the events of their lives, and how these distortions influence both the character’s and the reader’s understanding of the truth.
I find it hard to say enough good things about this novel...There's a universe in each house, a mystery. Life is not so easy sometimes. Wangersky captures this mystery of life so well and let's the reader in on the stories within the brightly coloured outdoor walls.
Wangersky is a terrific writer. His prose is crisp and lyrical, and the book is full of acute observations of all that surrounds us...
What is impressive ... is Wangersky's decision not to sentimentalize these people or the way they live. McKay Street is frankly depicted as a hostile, dangerous place characterized by lousy weather, economic hardship, and random violence.
Wangersky is a craftsman and a storyteller. The Glass Harmonica is certainly worth your time and concentration.
[A] compelling first novel.