Books·Canadian

The Age of Hope

David Bergen's novel follows a seemingly ordinary woman who struggles to accept herself as she is.

David Bergen

The Age of Hope is a subtle, quietly compelling portrait of an ordinary woman who feels her life is unrealized. Hope Koop grows up in a small Manitoba town, and follows the conventional path open to most women of her generation: she marries, has kids, attends church. Her husband, Roy, is devoted to her, and their house in the suburbs is well appointed. But over time she begins to feel unfulfilled, and longs to make more of her life — even if she's not sure what that "more" could be.

The Age of Hope was a contender for Canada Reads 2013. It was championed by Ron MacLean.

Charles Boatman returns to Vietnam, where he served as a soldier almost 30 years earlier, on a mysterious quest. When he disappears, his daughter Ada and her brother Jon travel to Vietnam to find him. An ambitious novel that explores the traumatic aftermath of warfare, The Time in Between shifts between Ada and Jon's search for their missing father and his experiences during the war. 

The Time in Between won the 2005 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2005 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award.

From the book

Her mother had once told her that one could run away from home, from husband, from children, from trouble, but it was impossible to run away from oneself. "You always have to take yourself with you," she said. And now, bending towards her mother, Hope wondered if in death you were finally able to run away from yourself. This might be death's gift. She knew that the thought wasn't terribly profound, but she was moved by the notion of completion and of escape.


From The Age of Hope by David Bergen ©2012. Published by HarperCollins Canada.

Interviews

Carleigh Baker, M.G. Vassanji, David Bergen, Emma Donoghue, Anosh Irani and Andre Alexis share the best and worst pieces of advice they've ever received. 2:57
The Age of Hope author discusses CBC's battle of the books 2:48
David Bergen discusses The Age of Hope with Shelagh Rogers. 19:00
The Age of Hope is in the running for Canada Reads 2013. Ron MacLean is defending it. 4:22

More about this book

Other books by David Bergen