by Don Gillmor
From the jacket flap:
Fleeing his violent, Pentecostal father, as well as a crime he committed in the parking lot of the first bar he ever entered, Ritt Devlin leaves Texas at fifteen, crossing the border into Alberta. Big for his age, he soon finds work on an oil rig on the outskirts of Medicine Hat. But that’s not the life he wants, and he saves up to study geology. By the time he’s in his early twenties he’s the head of his own oil company.
Spanning almost seventy years, and following the geology and politics of oil from Texas to the Canadian oil patch, to Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Azerbaijan, various political capitals, and the Arctic, Long Change is divided into three parts, each of them framed by one of Ritt’s marriages.
I chose to read this book because it was recommended on Goodreads and Reading Recommendations.
I found it to be an interesting read and easy to read. I was curious to see what the writer would say about the oil industry, some call ‘dirty oil’. The oil industry has always given people hope. Hope to strike it rich, hope for a different life. It is no different today.
I liked how the writer developed Ritt’s character. As a child, Ritt was physically and emotionally abused but he grew up to be ambitious and compassionate. He faced many challenges trying to reach his goals in the oil industry and did not give up his dreams.
I really appreciated the writer did not go into tremendous and unnecessary details on bedroom scenes. I’m not a prude. Even when I read the occasional romance novel, I skip the silly sexual, over-to-top, bottom, anticipation, climax drama. Writers should leave that to the reader’s imagination. But, I’m likely in the minority here.
When Ritt became lost in his grief, it made me wish his guardian angel would help him find his way back to life. I did not want him to give up.
The ending left me feeling empty and sad, because of all the main character had been through, which is a testament, I think, to Gillmor’s good writing. Ritt lived a long life and he met many people along the way: some were adversaries, some believed in his dreams, some just came along for the ride. At the end, he was a hollow trunk of a tree.
Do I recommend Long Change by Don Gilmor? Absolutely! How many stars? I hate giving stars I just say to anyone – man, or woman … read it. And you don’t need to be a geologist!
When I read a book, I hope to become engaged. I ask myself, why was this title chosen? What is it with so many characters, hard to keep up with this Jack and that Tom and who was Jack back chapters ago? What will happen next, what will the ending be? I ask myself lots of questions. But sometimes I ask, “will there be a sequel?” This is one of those books.
Don Gillmor has previously been promoted on Reading Recommendations.