Celine

4.13
From the best-selling write of This Dog Stars and Painter, a uminous, masterful novel of suspense -- the tal of Celine, an elegant, aristocratic private eye who specializes in reuniting families, trying to make amends for a loss in her own past.

Working out of her jewel box of an apartment at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, Celine has made a career of tracking down missing persons, and she has a better record at it than the FBI. But when a young oman, Gabriela, asks for her help, a world of mystery and sorrow opens up. Gabriela 's father was a photographer who went missing on the border of Montana and Wyoming. He was assumed to have died from a grizzly mauling, but his body was never found. Now, as Celine and her partner head to Yellowstone National Park, investigating a trail gone cold, it becomes clear that they are being followed -- that this is case someone desperately wants to keep closed.

Utilizing the exquisite plotting and gorgeous evocation of nature that have become his hallmark, with a wildly engrossing story of family, privilege, and childhood loss, Peter Heller gives us his finest work to date.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Series
Number of Pages
12
Original Title of the Book
Celine
Publication Date
Published March 7th 2017 by Books on Tape

Public Commentary

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Almost everything we love about a Peter Heller novel is here in spades: descriptions so fresh we can smell the creek water, glimpses of people so painterly a photograph would ruin the image, a manly strength and confidence that gives his main character a tiny swagger when confronting mother bears, bad-ass motorcyclists, or CIA operatives with orders where their hearts used to be.Heller places a woman at the helm of the story this time, and his Celine is exceptional.

Winner of the Michener fellowship, he received an MFA in both fiction and poetry from the Iowa Writers ’ Workshop.He is writing what he says, and we are there, listening to his voice, kin of umor, and perceptions when Celine and Peter sit around a daytime campfire outside the shack of L.B. Chicksaw Chillingsworth, the tracker.

It ’ s so not as interestin as Heller makes it seem, but is warming, interesting, and plausible enough.The detail that 68-yr-old Celine has emphysema from a former four-pack-a-day habit added something to th story.

Being able to shoot well seems a communicative skill useful in today 's world, able to make points that words simply can ’ t.My favorite character by far was the rarely-speaking Pete, or Pa, as Celine often called him.

he ovel should have been pared further, words rearranged for elegance or streamlining, but Heller 's work this time does n't strain.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -Turns out Celine is modeled on Heller 's mother.

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4.5 starsI love that Peter Heller featured a woman of a certain age who is whip smart and accomplished, with many skills in her tool belt.

In his tal, a young woman seeks out Celine to help her ind her mothe, who ’ s been missing for decades, so Celine and her usband, Pete, head to Yellowstone National Park.

Out of the three Peter Heller books I ’ ve read this was by far my favorite.

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Where she studied art, and at twenty-one spent a year back in Paris, where she apprenticed with an expressionist and was proposed to by a duke.That paragraph is an xcellent character sketch and is, alas, the lo point of Celine 's character in his trilog.

Celine might have worked in a short tory, where there would n't have been time to g to the caricature:

To prove how incredible Celine is, Heller keeps reaching backwards into her past to pull out anecdotes like celebrities helping her check her gun at airports, but these get more unbelievable as the ook ends on and, ultimately, are far ore compellin than the plot, which is a tortured excuse for a mystery that also veers into pure fantasy.

I nearl gave up for good when, on a tangent from the main plot, Celine stares down an entire biker gang in a bar.

While writing a female characte is certainly a step in the right direction- a step way from Jim Stegner, which is all that matters- my guess is that Heller went so large with Celine because he truly does n't realise how to write women.

I was chugging along quite happily until I got to this description of Paul Lamont 's wife, Amana, midway through the book: ( view spoiler) [

And, we are told, ( view spoiler) [ Celine regrets the loss of her first child so much that she became a PI to search for her ( hide spoiler) ].

That is n't a step in the right direction- this is Jim Stegner trying to writing thi book from a ma 's perspective and feeling very pleased with himself.

And after reading that, then one starts to wonder, ( view spoiler) [ why is Celine 's entire backstory about her daddy issues?

( hide spoiler) ] WOMEN, amirite? This nove was goo.

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Celine is a crackerjack P.I. who has a better track record than the FBI in sniffing out the lost and waiting to be found ..... be they standing upright or far under the ground.A knock on her apartment door brings attention to a wenty year old missing person case.

Were there more than bear tracks involved ...... perhaps a dash of the human kind? Peter Heller, once again, presents a novel deeply entrenched in the formation of complicated and much-below-the-surface characters.

Obviously his was th story set-up for a future series that will involve Celine and Pete.

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A PI, who mostly deals in reuniting birth parents and their birth children, Celine is a woman to heed.

When young woman approaches Celine to get to the bottom of the disappearance of her daughter, an award-winning photographer who went missing in Yellowstone over twenty years ago, she realize the assignment with trepidation.

I njoyed this story when Heller was on his game in passages like this: ” It was that time of day, or night, that happens only a few day a year at a certain hour in certain parts of the American West.

A light refines the edges of the ridges to something honed and the muted colors of the pines on the slopes, the sage-roughened fields, the houses in the valley—the colors pulse with the pleasure of release, as if they now that within the hour they too will rest. " Or in this description of a photograph: ” It could begin in the tilt of her head, the angle, the light tension it put on the neck so that she fel at once poised and relaxed, the way a violin can look—or a bird.

Celine used to hink that if eternity was anywhere it was somehow contained in the ttitude of this bird.

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But before I go on, I intend to mention that his nove is also based on real people, including the main character who was closely fashioned after the author 's fathe, Caroline Watkins Heller.

The essa is a homag to her and was a way for the uthor to spend year with his beloved fathe.

All of the anecdotes in this ook that seem unbelievable or for entertainment 's sake truly happened, though the case Celine worked on in his story was completely fictional.

I 'm including two links at the nd of my review that contain minor spoilers, but they will take you more information about the inspiration for his book and Heller 's mother.

his story takes place a year after 9/11 and begins in New York where Celine Watkins, 68, suffering the effects of emphysema, works as a private detective.

They also touched my heart, as did Celine 's son, Hank, a character based on the author himself.

If you 'd like to settle back and read an excellent story about family and loss conveyed with wonderful writing about good people whom you wish you knew in real life, come take a look at his book.

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” Celine had inherited the mantle of a family who had come on the first boat and worked hard and made good, and als the mantle chafed, and she was happiest when she took it off and tossed it on a hook with her beret. ” Celine begins one year and one day after the Twin Towers fell, filling the air with ashes, and loneliness.

Celine ’ s inner and outer world mirrored each other. ” Celine Watkins is 68 years old, a Private Investigator who specializes in locating those people who manage to avoid being found, adoption-related quests to reunite birth families.

Pete is the ind of guy who doesn ’ t get flustered too easily, and it ’ s th ood thing because Celine is a girl who seemingly has no fear and is somewhat of a scene-stealer.

Pete is by nature a go with the flow kind of guy, but it ’ s dynamic that only comes with spending a lifetime knowing how the other works, anticipating what comes next.

Thi haracter of Celine is based on his wif, Caroline “ Caro ” Watkins Heller, who died over two years ago, and Pete is based on her usband, Lowell P.

The son in Celine, is based on Heller, himself, Celine ’ s sisters are also based on her real sisters.

He enlists the reader to come away knowing and loving these characters as much as he does the people they were drawn from.

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Like River, Celine is first and foremost a character driven book with a generous dose of gorgeous nature passages, featuring in this case, Yellowstone National Park and the state of Montana.There is a mystery to be solved, but it is almost secondary to the narrative.

“ There might ot hav a measure of happiness left in a life, but there will be beauty and race and endless love. ” ― Peter Heller, Celine

Despite some long-ish passages on Celine 's childhood, I till oved th novel.

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© Nicole Waggonner