The Time In Between
The characters in David Bergen’s mopey novel, The Time In Between, winner of Canada’s Giller Prize, all suffer from obscure, hard-to-articulate emotional ailments. Beautiful, anxious Ada Boatman has come to Vietnam to find her father, Charles, a U.S. Army veteran, who recently disappeared here while on vacation. Bergen crosscuts between Charles’ traumatizing experiences as a young GI, his ill-advised middle-aged trip down memory lane, and Ada’s attempts to retrace his steps. Both father and daughter brood, make hesitant feints at romance with similarly distraught souls, and say things like ”I don’t know that I am any sadder than other people” — utterances that would be more affecting if Bergen let us feel his characters’ pain, not just hear about it.