Pedal (2020)

Pedal Chelsea Rooney Pedal Chelsea Rooney has written a novel that is simultaneously lacerating and deeply empathetic It confronts difficult material in a frank and unflinching manner yet remains grounded in an abiding authori
  • Title: Pedal
  • Author: Chelsea Rooney
  • ISBN: 9781927575567
  • Page: 233
  • Format: Paperback
Pedal Chelsea Rooney Chelsea Rooney has written a novel that is simultaneously lacerating and deeply empathetic It confronts difficult material in a frank and unflinching manner, yet remains grounded in an abiding authorial intelligence Pedal marks the debut of a hugely promising writer Steven W Beattie, Quill Quire Julia, the protagonist of this intense first novel, is a psycholog Chelsea Rooney has written a novel that is simultaneously lacerating and deeply empathetic It confronts difficult material in a frank and unflinching manner, yet remains grounded in an abiding authorial intelligence Pedal marks the debut of a hugely promising writer Steven W Beattie, Quill Quire Julia, the protagonist of this intense first novel, is a psychology grad student who risks everything to pursue scientific research in truly forbidden territory sexual attraction between adults and children She persists in her quest in spite of skeptical friends, fragile relatives, a squeamish thesis advisor, an enigmatic bike tour companion, severe social taboos, and her own painful memories of a birth father she calls Dirtbag not to prove any point but to find out what lies beyond the conventional wisdom This is an unsettling novel smart, fierce, confident, funny, and full of surprises with an unforgettable young woman at the heart of the storm Mary Schendlinger, Senior Editor, Geist a taut, unsettling, and provoking debut novel Chelsea Rooney ought to be commended for perceptively addressing such a difficult and inflammatory and decidedly uncommercial topic with a subtlety that s buoyed by ample empathy Brett Josef Grubisic, Vancouver Sun Pedal is a brave and captivating book, written with an unflinching eye and a deep understanding of the torment that is the human condition Chelsea Rooney is a major talent Steven Galloway, author of The Confabulist and The Cellist of SarajevoJulia Hoop, a twenty five year old counselling psych student, is working on her thesis, exploring an idea which makes her graduate supervisor squirm She is conducting interview after interview with a group of women she affectionately calls the Molestas women whose experience of childhood sexual abuse did not cause physical trauma Julia is the expert, she claims, because she has the experience her own father, Dirtbag, disappeared when she was eight leaving behind nothing but a legacy of addiction and violence.When both her boyfriend and her graduate advisor break up with her on the same day, Julia leaves her city of Vancouver on a bicycle for a cross Canada trip in search of her father, or so she tells people Her unexpected travel partner is Smirks, a handsome athlete who also has a complicated history Their travel days are marked by peaks of ecstatic physical exertion, and their nights by frustrated drinking and drugs After an unsettling incident in rural Saskatchewan involving a trio of aggressive children, Julie wakes up in the morning to discover Smirks has disappeared Everything, once again, falls apart.Sometimes shocking in its candour, yet charmed with enigmatic characters, Pedal explores how we are shaped by accidents of timing trauma and sex, brain chemistry and the landscape of our country and challenges beliefs we hold dear about the nature of pedophilia, the essence of innocence and the idea that the past is something one runs from.
Pedal Chelsea Rooney

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    233 Chelsea Rooney
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    Posted by:Chelsea Rooney
    Published :2019-08-12T07:42:59+00:00

One thought on “Pedal

  1. Leah Horlick

    What a dream to encounter a book this sensitive, complex, and honest about trauma I remain totally stunned by the voice of the protagonist here how refreshing to meet a character so charming, unpolished, and in particular a woman with an anger problem It s also an epic road trip story, features an incredible female friendship, and presents a gorgeous rendering of Vancouver Such a total departure from the trauma narratives that dominate CanLit and our society I can t wait for the day that this te [...]

  2. Jason Pettus

    This was also published at my website, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography So let s just acknowledge right off the bat that it takes a writer of superior skill to even attempt to pull off what Canadian author Chelsea Rooney so successfully does here in her debut novel Pedal, first published in 2015 but that was just acquired by my local library about six months ago namely, it s a thoughtful and nuanced look at the inherently tricky subject of sex between adults and children, one th [...]

  3. Katie

    It s times like these that I loathe the five star system has opted to go with I want to give this book a 9 10 It deserves that, ESPECIALLY considering it is a first novel Full disclosure I know Chelsea, the author This is the first time anyone of my acquaintance has published a novel, and I was terrified to read it I knew I would have to review it, and I worried I wouldn t like it, leaving me with two unattractive options To write a critique and hurt a friend, or to lie Thank goodness it never c [...]

  4. Dessa

    This book made me uncomfortable as I imagine it makes most readers uncomfortable for the exact same reason Lolita makes readers uncomfortable Rooney burrows deep into the heart of the taboo behind pedophilia and has the nerve to find redeeming qualities in those who fall in love with children This is the foundation of the novel the narrative she builds on this base follows a not so unbiased and fairly flawed narrator biking across Canada in search of her pedophile father, Dirtbag Get it Pedophil [...]

  5. Doretta Lau

    From the very first line, Chelsea Rooney transfixes the reader The night had started out clear in East Vancouver, but from the west a fat finger of tarnished cloud gestured toward us The use of language is unsettling, the subject matter brave Rooney has a singular voice There s pain and empathy and humour and very astute observations of people and places.

  6. Sigal

    This novel is exactly what CanLit needs Smart, gutsy, and beautifully written, it tackles issues often considered uncomfortable or taboo and does it with a level of nuance that s deserving of literary awards and a place on syllabi It s a serious and unflinching book that will also have you laughing out loud at times no mean feat.

  7. Guilherme Azevedo

    Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto As wrote Terence, the ancient Roman playwright, for I am human, nothing human is alien to me Pedal is a notable book Weirdly captivating, it presents us a full pallet of humanity, from the noblest to the most degenerated.Rooney has a rare and yet so desperately needed ability to rub on our face the matters of life that we let go unnoticed She is as sharp to expose the mundane often hilarious with new colours as to convert into clear text some of the deepe [...]

  8. Jacqueline Valencia

    Repression and raw truths lay embedded in Chelsea Rooney s debut novel Pedal It s the story of Julia, a psychology student in Vancouver trying to come up with a coherent analysis of her complicated thesis It is her belief that not all victims of pedophiles have experienced trauma if it doesn t involve pain Of course, this proves to be extremely difficult for her to prove and extremely hard for her to explain to those she is closest to her The complicated her exploration, the determined she bec [...]

  9. Chloë

    On the one hand, this was an easy read because the characters and plot wheel you right along pun intended On the other hand, the subject matter was at times difficult and disturbing and the writing smart but not pretentious , which I appreciated, but it s no beach read The structure was great the narrative struck a good balance between realism and fiction The characters were at times very unlikable, yet sympathetic and plausible And, as someone who has lived in many different places in Canada, I [...]

  10. Anna

    Distressing, lush, beautiful, unsettling, challenging, powerful just what the staid world of Canadian literature needs This is not an easy read, and so if you re looking for Canadian Shield navel gazing, move on But if you want to read a book that tackles the issues of pedophilia and molestation that no one else is willing to talk about, read on There are ups and downs, and times when continuing with the story is really genuinely hard, but this is a book that s forging a new path through the tre [...]

  11. Alexis

    A really beautifully written book about a troubled young woman who has an experience with sexual abuse in her past She becomes fascinated by pedophilia and eventually befriends a pedophile and they go on a bike trip together I found this book hard and disturbing to read, but ultimately, I was touched by its nuances and portrayal of the intricacy of humanity.Nominated for an First novel award I also liked the Vancouver based details I lived there for 2 years, and I loved all the details the autho [...]

  12. George Ilsley

    A brave rambling novel that felt a bit surreal to me, since the narrative describes my actual home town in the Annapolis Valley, as well as Vancouver, where I now live.In terms of the characters, I was tired of the names Lark and Smirks on page 3, and kept waiting in vain for some insight or revelation from the protagonist Is the reader really supposed to believe that Julia has not been damaged This reader did not, yet by the end we do not feel any closer to a moment of self revelation from Jul [...]

  13. Scotchneat

    A woman, Julia, is working on her thesis in which she claims that some women who experienced childhood sexual abuse did not experience physical trauma She says she knows because she s one of them Then she sets off to bike across the country, maybe to find her father She may find out she s wrong in her thesis.Book definitely needs a trigger warning, and it was uncomfortable in parts Which may be the sign of strong writing, or just deliberate provocation I think Rooney is a new writer, so time wil [...]

  14. Ron S

    A Vancouver grad student alienates family, friends and her thesis advisor researching pedophilia outside of currently accepted models With the exception of a too convenient ending, this is a remarkable first novel, filled with surprises, unflinching, challenging, filled with fully realized characters rarely found in the work of the most mature writer You can reasonably hope for great things from Chelsea Rooney, after having the courage and skill to pen a debut novel such as this.

  15. Alexander Weber

    Damn I was absolutely loving this book for the first 3 4 The last bit, however, sort of ended on a middle of the road, humdrum note I am very biased for absolutely fawning over her descriptions of Vancouver, and biking across the country And her handling of such a complicated issue is nothing but praise worthy But she needed to carry that momentum to the end Butah, it just felt stale Oh well I definiitely recommend this book anyways I had a blast reading it.

  16. Ciara

    This story kept me from my to do list The characters were very vivid and likeable Chelsea s writing is captivating and descriptive but not overly so I enjoyed many thought provoking moments The topic of the book is so unique and brave I would not have imagined that I would be drawn into the subject matter I was so wrong Check it out

  17. AlphaSiren

    Holy hell Overwhelmed by this first novel from local Vancouver writer, Chelsea Rooney Devoured Pedal in a couple days and good lord if I didn t ugly cry in the last few pages Her use of simile is unprecedented, on point and at times, utterly heartbreaking Truly blown away in gobsmacked fashion by the realness, rawness and relatability of this story and its deliciously layered characters.

  18. Carolyn

    One of the most original, surprising, verbally adroit books I ve read in ages I was very impressed, not just by the fact that this is a first novel great detail and risky content add up to a very exciting debut.

  19. Elizabeth Hand

    An intensely brave and facinating story I could hardly put it down, I felt as if it was revealing parts of my self to me and I didn t want to miss anything, or go another moment one frame short of the whole picture A true master piece I am better for having read it.

  20. Richard

    Strong protagonist, edgy topic, non judgmental, the bike trip drove the story forward Very Canadian.

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