The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
Published: 2007 by McLelland & Stewart
Source: Purchased (the Canadian edition, eh?)
I'm a Canadian girl, and my one complaint about Canadian literature is that most of it is frankly quite depressing and bleak. Granted, I enjoy reading depressing and bleak, but I wish there were more books available that were well written and that provided a laugh or two (or even a few smiles). The Best Laid Plans is a great start.
Daniel Addison has been a political aide in the Liberal Party but after a personal shock, he decides to leave Ottawa and head into academia at a university just outside of the capital. Canada is just about ready for an election, so the Party asks him to find a Liberal candidate in the university's riding. Said candidate would be running in an overwhelmingly Tory riding against the incumbent Member of Parliament Tory Finance Minister Eric Cameron; who is extremely popular around the country.
Daniel finds his sacrificial lamb -- his landlord, Angus McLintock, who is also an engineering professor at the university -- who after some negotiation agrees to have his name on the ballot with the understanding that he has no chance of winning. But of course, things happen.....
I wasn't sure if non-Canadians would appreciate/understand the political discourse in the novel, but after reading it I think that its description of politics is pretty universal. And that is only one part of the story; there is romance, adventure (trust me, it's there!) and a very quirky cast of characters that make it all work. And it's funny -- again I don't know if you need to be Canadian to get some the jokes but I've been out of the country for 11 years and I still found myself laughing out loud.
It's only January, but The Best Laid Plans is already on my favorite reads of 2011 list. Highly recommended.
And it counts toward my progress in The Canadian Book Challenge 4 !