The inception is enticing : The main character as an adult announces a tumultuous subject matter - a bank robbery committed by his parents, and "the murders, which happened later" - and then proceeds to a leisurely narrative about his childhood in 1960 smalltown America.
The book is divided in two equal portions, both climaxing in crime, in their final pages.
Only the second part is set in Canada, and since the first is, in my opinion, of greatly superior quality, the naming of the novel remains a bit abstruse to me.
Many things did, in fact; I finished it with the feeling that there is a lot more to this novel than meets the eye - Real Literature always improves upon analysis - yet even its face value was brilliant! Of course, it revolves around issues typical of a bildungsroman - fatherhood, maturation, separation, loneliness - but theoretically, seeing the high crime rate in the book, it could also have been a crime novel. (Which, however, it most definitely is not.)
The writing appears diligent and effortless at the same time. It's poetic and quiet, yet it feels as though Ford has pondered every word for a length of time.
Beautiful, in short!