Cameron, Peter. Andorra. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997.
Andorra is like a fine wine. You can get through a whole bunch of it without realizing how much you have consumed. From the very beginning readers don’t know a lot about the narrator of Andorra. Little by little, page by page, we learn he is Alexander Fox, an American from San Fransisco, trying to escape a past tragedy. In his former life he was married, a father, and owner a bookstore. He has come to Andorra to figuratively and literally start over. He has arrived, thanks in part, to a novel by Rose Macaulay which takes place in Andorra but isn’t like the Andorra he has arrive in at all. By chapter four we finally learn his name and discover he is distrustful of Mrs. Dent (although Mr. Fox doesn’t know why). Soon after meeting Sophonsobia Doyle Quay and her daughter Jean, Mr. Fox’s life begins to change. Slowly, as if a snail from a shell, Mr. Fox reveals he has trouble with relationships, especially women. The Dents have a secret, but he has a larger one.
As an aside, Peter Cameron must have an interest in architecture. Words like porte cochere, loggia, pichet and dhurries are thrown around casually. Later in the story it is revealed that Alex was an architect. Ah ha!
Quotes I liked, “Because we never know if we will get where we are going, it is always a relief to arrive there” (p 7), “It was the joy that comes from feeling you are where you should be” (p 47),
Reason read: November is Imagination Month. I called it “Finding Neverland Month” – whatever that means.
Author fact: Cameron also wrote City of Your Final Destination, which is also on my list to read.
Book trivia: Andorra is short, only 219 pages long, but it packs a punch. I could see this turning into a movie.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Travel to Imaginary Places” (p 236).