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The Time In Between: A Novel
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Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2007
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Description

In search of love, absolution, or forgiveness, Charles Boatman leaves the Fraser Valley of British Columbia and returns mysteriously to Vietnam, the country where he fought twenty-nine years earlier as a young, reluctant soldier. But his new encounters seem irreconcilable with his memories.

When he disappears, his daughter Ada, and her brother, Jon, travel to Vietnam, to the streets of Danang and beyond, to search for him. Their quest takes them into the heart of a country that is at once incomprehensible, impassive, and beautiful. Chasing her father’s shadow for weeks, following slim leads, Ada feels increasingly hopeless. Yet while Jon slips into the urban nightlife to avoid what he most fears, Ada finds herself growing closer to her missing father — and strong enough to forgive him and bear the heartbreaking truth of his long-kept secret.

Bergen’s marvellously drawn characters include Lieutenant Dat, the police officer who tries to seduce Ada by withholding information; the boy Yen, an orphan, who follows Ada and claims to be her guide; Jack Gouds, an American expatriate and self-styled missionary; his strong-willed and unhappy wife, Elaine, whose desperate encounters with Charles in the days before his disappearance will always haunt her; and Hoang Vu, the artist and philosopher who will teach Ada about the complexity of love and betrayal. We also come to learn about the reclusive author Dang Tho, whose famous wartime novel pulls at Charles in ways he can’t explain.

Moving between father and daughter, the present and the past, The Time in Between is a luminous, unforgettable novel about one family, two cultures, and a profound emotional journey in search of elusive answers.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
12/18/2007
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307432681
ASIN:
B000SF8AC2
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

David Bergen. (2007). The Time In Between: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

David Bergen. 2007. The Time In Between: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

David Bergen, The Time In Between: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2007.

MLA Citation (style guide)

David Bergen. The Time In Between: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2007.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • fileAs: Bergen, David
      • bioText: David Bergen is the author of four highly acclaimed novels: A Year of Lesser, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award; See the ChildThe Case of Lena S., winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction; and, most recently, The Time in Between, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He is also the author of a collection of short fiction, Sitting Opposite My Brother, which was a finalist for the Manitoba Book Award.
      • name: David Bergen
imprint
Random House
publishDate
2007-12-18T05:00:00+00:00
isOwnedByCollections
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title
The Time In Between
fullDescription

In search of love, absolution, or forgiveness, Charles Boatman leaves the Fraser Valley of British Columbia and returns mysteriously to Vietnam, the country where he fought twenty-nine years earlier as a young, reluctant soldier. But his new encounters seem irreconcilable with his memories.

When he disappears, his daughter Ada, and her brother, Jon, travel to Vietnam, to the streets of Danang and beyond, to search for him. Their quest takes them into the heart of a country that is at once incomprehensible, impassive, and beautiful. Chasing her father’s shadow for weeks, following slim leads, Ada feels increasingly hopeless. Yet while Jon slips into the urban nightlife to avoid what he most fears, Ada finds herself growing closer to her missing father — and strong enough to forgive him and bear the heartbreaking truth of his long-kept secret.

Bergen’s marvellously drawn characters include Lieutenant Dat, the police officer who tries to seduce Ada by withholding information; the boy Yen, an orphan, who follows Ada and claims to be her guide; Jack Gouds, an American expatriate and self-styled missionary; his strong-willed and unhappy wife, Elaine, whose desperate encounters with Charles in the days before his disappearance will always haunt her; and Hoang Vu, the artist and philosopher who will teach Ada about the complexity of love and betrayal. We also come to learn about the reclusive author Dang Tho, whose famous wartime novel pulls at Charles in ways he can’t explain.

Moving between father and daughter, the present and the past, The Time in Between is a luminous, unforgettable novel about one family, two cultures, and a profound emotional journey in search of elusive answers.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content:

        "Luminous. . . . In this meditation on the aftereffects of violence and failed human connection, Bergen's austere prose illustrates the arbitrary nature of life's defining moments."

      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
      • content: "A beautifully composed, unflinching and harrowing story. Perhaps the best fiction yet to confront and comprehend the legacy of Vietnam."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "[Bergen] preserves the exquisiteness of the Vietnamese culture, lending a unique beauty to the story. Highly recommended."
      • premium: False
      • source: Globe and Mail
      • content: "Bergen's best writing evokes the absence of what has been lost and, even more terribly, what is not there to be found."
      • premium: False
      • source: -Time
      • content: "With his thoughtful dialogue, Bergen makes the characters' heartache seep off the page."
      • premium: False
      • source: Miriam Toews, author of A Complicated Kindness
      • content: "David Bergen is a master of taut, spare prose that's both erotic and hypnotic. Set mostly in modern-day Viet Nam, The Time In-Between is a deeply moving meditation on love and loss, truth and its elusiveness, and a compelling portrait of a haunted man, Charles Boatman, and his daughter who seeks to solve the mystery of his disappearance."
      • premium: False
      • source: Michael Redhill, author of Martin Sloane
      • content: "David Bergen's The Time In-Between is about how children inherit their parents' ghosts and the elusive nature of grace. It also makes a stunning connection between the wars that are fought out in the world, and the ones that cleave families in private. Ravishingly told and deeply felt, it's a huge accomplishment."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jennifer Egan, author of Look at Me
      • content: "The Time In-Between is a spare, suspenseful meditation on the long reach of war -- to the places where it is fought, the people who fight it, and the people who love those people. In portraying the lingering devastation left in one soldier's life by a war he fought a generation ago, Bergen's novel could not be timelier or more chilling."
      • premium: False
      • source: Brady Udall, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
      • content: "In this elegant novel, David Bergen weaves a precise and resonant prose through the connected histories of people touched by love, death and war. A lovely, sad, and ultimately redeeming work of fiction."
      • premium: False
      • source: Donald Pfarrer, The Fearless Man: a Novel of Vietnam
      • content: "Intelligent, humane, deep in its sympathetic understanding, David Bergen's novel explores the haunted life of the Boatman family in the late aftermath of the Vietnam War. There is in this novel not a single sentimental or euphemistic line; and because the writing is honest, the characters are real, and their struggle as a family has the ring of truth."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: "Beautiful and timely...A sparse and moving meditation on the burden of war across generations."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Baltimore Sun
      • content: "Exquisite...With simple sentences, evocative images and subtle insights into elusive emotional states, the words don't merely tell a story; they become poetry."
      • premium: False
      • source: Chicago Tribune
      • content: "This is a book of searching....Part war story...part expatriate novel, too, as if A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises had been rolled into one."
      • premium: False
      • source: Deseret Morning News (Best
      • content: "Brilliant...a literary triumph...As Kurt Vonnegut's memorable "Slaughterhouse-Five" did so brilliantly with the impact of World War II, Bergen's book lives and breathes the Vietnam experience."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 31, 2005
        Ada Boatman and her father, Charles, cross borders in Canadian author Bergen's luminous fourth novel. As their surname suggests, the in-between approximates the watery space between life and death. The narrative alternates between Ada's and Charles's points of view, between their separate experiences in contemporary Vietnam and their past together in the Pacific Northwest. Charles, an isolated American Vietnam veteran turned Canadian woodsman, raises his three children—Ada, Jon and Del—in British Columbia after their mother's death. As they scatter into adulthood, Charles retreats further into the memories (especially the terror of a single day of combat) that keep him at arm's length from life. When a fellow veteran sends Charles a novel written by a Vietnamese soldier, the story moves Charles to revisit Vietnam. There, he attempts to peel back the dark shroud of memory, but he cannot make peace and disappears instead. Ada and Jon follow their father to Danang, where they confront his past, and where Ada, whose life has been defined by her father's long sadness, learns to forsake her unmoored existence in favor of inner reconciliation. In this meditation on the aftereffects of violence and failed human connection, Bergen's austere prose illustrates the arbitrary nature of life's defining moments.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 15, 2005
        In this new novel by award-winning Canadian author Bergen ("A Year of Lesser"), Canadian vet Charles Boatman returns to Vietnam 30 years after the war, tormented by his experiences there and how they changed him. When he goes missing, eldest daughter Ada and son Jon, now in their twenties, travel to Vietnam to find him. The story then shifts mostly between father and daughter, with the past blending into the present and the perceptions and needs of each character while in Vietnam tending to run parallel. The book's haunting and dreamlike tone stems partly from several characters' attempting to seek answers to elusive questions. Fortunately, this is not a story of overt desperation, and the author writes with a certain delicacy of description concerning how the Vietnamese survived the war and its aftermath. This sensitivity prevents any vulgarity from shattering the lives of the characters and preserves the exquisiteness of the Vietnamese culture, lending a unique beauty to the story. Highly recommended. -Maureen Neville, Trenton P.L., NJ

        Copyright 2005 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        October 1, 2005
        This powerful novel about the long-term aftereffects of the Vietnam War is a beautifully crafted meditation on the frustrating search for emotional clarity. Ava Boatman and her brother, Jon, have come to Vietnam in search of their missing father, Charles. A Vietnam vet with a terrible secret that has turned him into an emotionally distant loner, Charles has made a pilgrimage to a small Vietnamese village, the scene of the most emotionally devastating moments of his life. What becomes hardest for him to accept is the fact that no trace remains of the horrific events that took place there; indeed, it seems the country has moved on without him, although he himself is still psychically riveted to that spot. As Ada and Jon try to find Charles, they deal with their fears in completely different ways. Bergen takes readers from the hardscrabble isolation of the rural Pacific Northwest to the bustling disorientation of modern-day Vietnam, and from fear of death to grief and acceptance. This slow, simmering novel will mesmerize readers with the intensity of its vision.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2005, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 6, 2006
        Asking Ellen DeGeneres–sound-alike Anna Fields to narrate this haunting novel of a veteran who goes missing while revisiting Vietnam to make peace with the atrocities he witnessed and committed doesn't initially sound like an inspired idea. However, Fields's narration of this Scotia Bank Giller Prize–winning book (Canada's highest book award) really works. With more than 200 audiobooks to her credit, Fields (aka Kate Fleming, and an Audie Award winner) has a master's touch, and her restrained delivery melds perfectly with Bergen's spare and Hemingwayesque text. Her deadpan delivery works for the narrator's voice as well as it does for Ada Boatman, who travels to Vietnam to find her veteran father, Charles. Fields's only weak note is the voice she uses for the taciturn Charles. As the book shifts between Ada's and Charles's points of view, Field's expertise becomes apparent, especially in her meticulous attention to detail, such as the correct pronunciation of the copious Vietnamese phrases and places in this tale. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 31).

popularity
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shortDescription

In search of love, absolution, or forgiveness, Charles Boatman leaves the Fraser Valley of British Columbia and returns mysteriously to Vietnam, the country where he fought twenty-nine years earlier as a young, reluctant soldier. But his new encounters seem irreconcilable with his memories.

When he disappears, his daughter Ada, and her brother, Jon, travel to Vietnam, to the streets of Danang and beyond, to search for him. Their quest takes them into the heart of a country that is at once incomprehensible, impassive, and beautiful. Chasing her father’s shadow for weeks, following slim leads, Ada feels increasingly hopeless. Yet while Jon slips into the urban nightlife to avoid what he most fears, Ada finds herself growing closer to her missing father — and strong enough to forgive him and bear the heartbreaking truth of his long-kept secret.

Bergen’s marvellously drawn characters include Lieutenant Dat, the police officer who tries to seduce Ada...

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      • source: Scotiabank Giller
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A Novel
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Random House Publishing Group