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by Wendy Van Riesen,Catherine Bush

Catherine Bush's riveting novel The Rules of Engagement explores the rules that govern both love and warfare. Arcadia Hearne fled Canada for Britain ten years ago after witnessing two students fight a duel over her in a Toronto ravine. A conflict specialist with London's Centre for Contemporary War Studies, the reclusive 31-year-old shields herself from any form of risk, romantic or geo-political. But when her globe-trotting sister, Lux, persuades her to deliver a package to a Somali exile in London, Arcadia is forced to confront the hidden violence of her past and to embrace the dangerous realities of her present.

Wendy Van Riesen captures the emotional tension and intellectual rigour of this tautly constructed literary thriller about love and apathy in the era of Rwanda.

Download The Rules of Engagement epub
ISBN: 0864923619
ISBN13: 978-0864923615
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Wendy Van Riesen,Catherine Bush
Language: English
Publisher: BTC Audiobooks; Abridged edition (September 27, 2004)
ePUB size: 1386 kb
FB2 size: 1399 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 902
Other Formats: rtf docx lrf doc

The Rules of Engagement is a fine novel, written in icily beautiful language, precise in its observations and the psychological development of its narrator, Arcadia Hearne. It's also a lot of fun to read.
Bush's use of war metaphors to develop a love story may seem a bit obvious once the set-up becomes clear, but at the same time it's all odd enough to stay consistently interesting, and none of the conclusions hit you over the head. To the novel's credit, the information about world conflicts and War Studies (Arcadia's area of expertise) doesn't exist only to be a metaphor -- it has tremendous significance in the narrative itself, and lends the everyday events of the story a global perspective. This is a tremendously worldly book, a book which expects an intelligent and aware reader, but which is never oblique or obtuse.
The story of Arcadia's past is handled deftly and woven into the present-day events with great skill. As the past and present converge, the novel becomes truly exciting -- it's fun to try to second-guess Bush and figure out where everything is leading, as in a mystery story. But here, the mystery and suspense lies not so much in the plot as in the character, for by the end we have come to care about Arcadia and her fate.
The Rules of Engagement is a fabulous novel. Catherine Bush has given us a terrific story that will make you think about the nature of love and war, of bravery, cowardice and risk. Arcadia Hearne is a Toronto native living in self-imposed exile in London. As the novel unfolds, we learn, little by little, about why seh left, and what she has done in London. She left because two of her lovers had a duel over her. The pain of the consequences of the duel was too overwhelming for her, so she fled, escaping to London. Her story, and how she finally addresses her past and deals with issues in the present, is fascinating and well-told. Bush tells the story, plaing concepts of love and war against one another. It's wonderful food for thought. There is a revelation towards the end of the novel--almost blink and you've missed it--that you won't get out of your head. I highly recommend this one. Enjoy.
Rules of Engagement by Catherine Bush is a skillfully written, splendid novel, wchich a reader won't easily forget. At the heart of this literary thriller is a pistol duel, fought in Toronto between two students who may of may not be contending for the love of Arcadia Hearne. The duel would seem to be the ultimate in romantic gesture, but Catherine Bush's style is so subtle that the reader doesn't know exactly why the students are duelling. The consequences for Arcadia -who watches the duel- are the centra thematic preoccupation of the Rules of Engagement. After the duel she flees to London and there she has to cope with her traumatic past. In fact Rules of Engagement isn't a literary thriller, but a psychological novel which contains thriller-like elements. In an abstract way violence and risk are the novel's structural co-ordinates. The Rules of Engagement is a page-turner, beautifully written. I felt really involved in this book, because it deeply speaks to the major questions in life.
Peter van Beek M.A. Literary reviewer, HN-Magazine, The Netherlands
its dullness is only surpassed by its pretentiousness. what a waste. i just finished eggers' "heartbreaking work of staggering genius" before reading ROE. it really drove home how lame this book was in comparison. maybe if i'd tried reading some other dreck it would have looked better.
reading the author's distinguished education on the back cover is also rather dismaying. all that larnin' and that's the best she can do? shudder.