Everything you need to understand or teach Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper.
Magic realism abounds in Emma Hooper's novel Etta and Otto and Russell and James. Magic realism accepts the supernatural in a rational world. The story begins early one morning when octogenarian Etta Gloria Kinnick Vogel sets off from her home in Saskatchewan on a walking journey to see the ocean. She leaves a note for her husband, Otto, telling him that she will try to remember to come back. Etta, who suffers bouts of dementia, gains a talking coyote named James as a walking partner and garners celebrity status among locals as she travels. The story is told from the perspectives of Etta, Otto, and their friend Russell, who have known each other for most of their lives. Otto and Russell react differently to Etta's sudden disappearance. Otto knows she wants her independence, but Russell sets off to find her. Juxtaposed with their memories of Otto's service in World War I, the story extends with the idea that it is never too late to follow a dream.