Spadework Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Spadework

In Stratford, Ontario, Canada, a gardener accidentally cuts a telephone cable, disrupting telephone service and interlinking several lives. As a result of the accident, theatre actor Griffin Kincaid finds himself sexually blackmailed. His wife Jane finds her marriage threatened not only by her husband's strange behavior, but also by her own obsessive desire for the handsome but mysterious telephone company repairman who arrives to fix the problem. The accident prevents a troubled young man from reaching help, resulting in a brutal murder. Throughout four months in the summer of 1998, a marriage is threatened and a murder mystery is resolved with tragic consequences. Findley's work is intriguing and accessible. The four interwoven plot lines are clear and easy to follow, and the reader is swept into the stormy lives Findley depicts. The novel also presents an interesting and insightful view of the theatre world.
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The review of this Book prepared by A. Antonow

Set in the times of Kosovo and the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, the novel describes about a month in the life of the Kincaids. Jane and her husband Griff work in the theatre business in Stratford, Ontario. Jane does props while Griff is a budding actor. Griff gets into a homosexual relationship with his director so that he can prevent losing the good parts for next year's Stratford Theatre festival. He hides this relationship from his wife, resulting in his gradual withdrawal from the family, his wife alcohol abuse, and his son's mental damage. Jane searches for the truth, thinking that there is another woman, but develops a crush on the Bell Telephone repair man. The novel describes the mental turmoil of all parties as the Kincaid family falls apart.
The review of this Book prepared by Shawn Vaillancourt

Chapter Analysis of Spadework

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   rekindling lost love/marriage Life of a profession:    -   actor Kind of sex:    -   two guys doing it Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Taboo sex story?    -   Yes Married, fooling around?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   artist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   Canada City?    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   Boob talk!    -   Weiner talk!    -   two guys doing it Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Spadework

Timothy Findley Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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