The Fixer-Upper

The Fixer-Upper

By Margaret Goldik

A review of The Fixer-upper by Lorne Elliott

Published on November 1, 2009

The Fixer-upper
Lorne Elliott

Acorn Press
$16.95
paper
64pp
978-1-894838-45-0

This slim volume chronicling a DYI disaster of epic proportions would be a great gift for a procrastinating handyman. The novella The Fixer-Upper is an adaptation of Lorne Elliott’s play The Tourist Trap, and is heavily dialogue-based – a strength, as it turns out.

Bruno MacIntyre inherits a tumble-down cottage in Savage Bay, Prince Edward Island, and turns to his acerbic Aunt Tillie to help him find summer tenants, as he needs money to fix up the place. Aunt Tillie has her own agenda, and manages the hapless Bruno with a masterful hand. The dialogue is sharp, quick, and very, very funny.

So much of the chaos results from Bruno’s procrastination and from his ignorance of what makes a building stay up, that the reader isn’t prepared for the plot twists – brought about by the Machiavellian Aunt Tillie. After some action straight out of a French farce, Bruno discovers both the strengths and limitations of family. mRb

Margaret Goldik is a former editor of the Montreal Review of Books.

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