In the Skin of a Lion, & in Depth | Mike

by capreviewroom

Michael Ondaatje’s award winning “In the Skin of a Lion” is an exciting fictional novel written with true heart and soul. It depicts the hard working lives of east coast Canadians in the early and progressive 1900’s. Calling “In the Skin of a Lion” a book worth reading is quite an understatement. The sincere realism of this fictional novel turns it into something that any reader can relate to. The imagery and tone of every page provides a crystal clear setting and effectively sets the mood. Love, violence, and change predominate as the stories primary themes.
The beginning of the story takes place in the isolated countryside of Ontario, where Patrick Lewis (a key character) grows up with his father Hazen. The love of family along with Hazen’s innovative discoveries plants “little seeds” that give rise to the three main themes.
The reader is then taken to a developing Toronto where the rest of the story takes place. Starting at this point, several new characters appear, disappear, and reappear throughout the entire book. Ondaatje provides insight of each character independently, which allows the reader to be informed of what is going on through a variety of different perspectives. It is only one of many traits that make “In the Skin of a Lion” a unique book of fictional literature.
Throughout the rest of the story, Patrick goes through multiple struggles with romance and the political barriers in society. His easily influenced spirit changes with each romantic relationship he is part of; with heart-breaking losses leading to violent actions. The excitement of the rising action, leading up to a spectacular climax, keeps the reader curious of what may happen next. The emotional dénouement and conclusion leave the reader to wonder what Patrick and the other characters will face and accomplish later in their lives.
Michael Ondaatje released many novels and poems in his writing career. He received a variety of different awards for almost every book he released. These awards included “Governor General’s Award, Giller Prize, Canada Australia Prize, Booker Prize, Irish Times International Fiction Prize,” and more.
“In the Skin of a Lion” stands out as a particularly intriguing novel. The way that Ondaatje structures this beautiful story is different than any average book. While reading it you naturally create your own visual impression of every character and setting. “In the Skin of a Lion” is a novel that offers emotion, realism, adventure, and soul. It is a novel that no book worm should ever ignore.


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