The Lay of the Land qualifies as a bona fide page-turner, a book that keeps the reader up late at night eager to find out what happened to whom and how. But for me, the chief delight of the novel is its narrator's winning, pitch-perfect voice. In his stories, Ford strips the chassis clean, reducing wind resistance, paring his vehicle down to the bare essentials. In contrast, the prose of The Lay of the Land provides a ride in a high-end automobile, replete with deluxe appointments, driven by an assured chauffeur who glides you smoothly through the New Jersey landscape, calling your attention to interesting views, passing on pertinent anthropological information about the inhabitants and playing the perfect raconteur.
For the rest of the review which appeared in today’s Globe and Mail, click here.