Etta and Otto and Russell and James (Emma Hooper)

Etta, Otto, Russell and James is a moving novel that chronicles Etta’s solo journey, leaving her husband Otto and friend Russell behind. Set against a backdrop of shared memories, the story delves into themes of love, loss, and the fading of memories, as characters confront the profound impact of death and the challenges of preserving cherished moments.

Author: Emma Hooper
Project: Orpheusfleeting nature of happiness / love and trust
Project: warWorld War II
Year of publication: 2015
Pages: 277




Plot Complexity: moderate
Language Complexity: moderate
Ideas Complexity: moderate

Etta, Otto, Russell and James features a moderately complex plot with multiple interwoven story lines and a moderate number of characters. The language used in the novel is more advanced, incorporating richer vocabulary and more nuanced sentence structures. It goes beyond the basics, offering depth and variety to the narrative. The ideas explored delve deeper into certain themes and concepts, requiring readers to engage with thought-provoking elements that go beyond straightforward and relatable ideas.



‘Tell me about home, please. Tell me about the weather. About the heat or dust or still-ness. Anything. And tell me about you. I keep your photo on the side without the gun. For balance.’

This is a love story that spans fifty years, three lives, two continents and an ocean. It tells of school teacher Etta, who settles in the Canadian prairies during the Great Depression and of the two pupils who fall in love with her: Russell, a city boy who takes to farming despite his twisted leg, and Otto, who struggles in school but always tries hard – even when he’s sent to fight a war in a distant land. It is a story of love and joy, pain and passion, memory and forgetting – and one incredible journey. It is the story of Etta and Otto and Russell and James.


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