LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
From bestselling, award-winning author Michael Crummey comes a sweeping, heart-wrenching, deeply immersive novel about a brother and sister alone in a small world.
A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland's northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by the feral ocean, by a relentless pendulum of abundance and murderous scarcity. Still children with only the barest notion of the outside world, they have nothing but the family's boat and the little knowledge passed on haphazardly by their mother and father to keep them.
As they fight for their own survival through years of meagre catches and storms and ravaging illness, it is their fierce loyalty to each other that motivates and sustains them. But as seasons pass and they wade deeper into the mystery of their own natures, even that loyalty will be tested.
This novel is richly imagined and compulsively readable, a riveting story of hardship and survival, and an unflinching exploration of the bond between brother and sister. By turns electrifying and heartbreaking, it is a testament to the bounty and barbarity of the world, to the wonders and strangeness of our individual selves.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The way Michael Crummey writes it, Newfoundland seems like a mythical place, both enchanting and hostile. In the first pages of this novel, adolescent siblings Evered and Ada find themselves orphaned, and we watch them grow up in extreme natural isolation. The book feels like an immediate classic—a survival story and a story of humans tested beyond their (and our) wildest imaginings. As we pictured ourselves flailing in the face of such challenges, it was impossible not to root for the pair—or to wish they’d been allotted a different fate.