Hey, Dad!

Hey, Dad! - Brian Doyle

"If they seem big to you from here, they won't seem as big when you get there. Everything is different than it looks to be. The lakes that seem big and deep are small and shallow. The lakes that seem small and shallow are big and deep. The land that looks kind is cruel. The sky that looks fierce is friendly."

 

This book has only just over 100 pages but it has managed to make me fall asleep more times than any of the 600 page novels I read recently, and this even although the premise of the book looks interesting:

 

13-year-old Megan's family is spending the summer holidays on a road trip with her family. Packed up in the car the family drives from Ottawa all across Canada to Vancouver. The only problem - Megan does not want to be there. Very early on she falls out with her dad, and most of the book is about her being a (stereo-)typical teenager.

 

Doyle succeeds in capturing that mood of Megan's not wanting to go on the trip, and her boredom, and her embarrassment when her father tries too hard to be cool. Where the book falls flat is in the plot. Not much happens until the last quarter of the book, and even then, the narration is kept so short that many of the interesting points about this coming of age story are lost or aren't explored at all.