The Fetch

ImageBy Nico Rogers
Brick Books 2010
114p $19.00CDN
Reviewed by Leslie Corbay
Drawing on the rich heritage of Newfoundland's outport culture, Nico Rogers has researched and written an elegant novel of poetic prose depicting pre-confederation Newfoundland. In a series of twenty-eight eloquently written vignettes, a Newfoundland of hardship and isolation comes to life with a host of colourful characters, including a formidable mother and a premature baby kept warm in an oven. Each of the vignettes opens with a black and white photo depicting pre-confederation life, including a beautiful photo of men on the ice floes.

The use of poetic prose requires an advanced reader to understand its subtleties, as well as a desire to read through some of the more difficult passages, including a chapter without punctuation. The vignettes are dense with imagery with little dialogue. The sexual content of the novel requires a mature reader as the main protagonist describes and reflects upon his own burgeoning sexuality.