*FINALIST FOR THE 2019 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
*FINALIST FOR THE 2019 GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD
*FINALIST FOR THE 2019 ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE
*WINNER OF THE 2020 THOMAS RADDALL ATLANTIC FICTION AWARD
*NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY The Globe and Mail • CBC • Toronto Star • Maclean's
Crummey's novel has the capacity to change the way the reader sees the world. —Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury Citation
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.
In his fifth novel, Crummey (Sweetland) imparts another heartfelt, extraordinary perspective on survival in the rugged isolation of his homeland of Newfoundland, this time from two pre-adolescent, newly orphaned siblings, after illness fells their infant sister and parents. Evered and Ada Best endure inconceivably severe weather conditions; their 19th-century livelihoods are at the mercy of nature will they harvest enough fish to trade for necessary winter provisions? Besides the biannual visits of the ship, ironically named The Hope and run by an unscrupulous money-man, the brother and sister only have each other for companionship. Happenstance brings a captain and his cook to their cove just in time to save a feverish Ada from near death; later a ship full of sailors looking to replace their mainmast arrives, temporarily enlivening their existence. Against the sensitive portrayal of how two na fs handle their budding sexuality, these fortuitous encounters underscore Evered's and Ada's innocence about life and the larger world. Crummey delivers profound insight into how individuals grapple with the forces of nature, not only in the unpredictable environment, but in the mystifying interior of their temperaments, drives, and character. This story of how two guileless youngsters navigate life will have a deep emotional impact on its readers.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A fabulous read
From the tilt to the store, I was drawn in to the imagery and setting. Likeable characters and a suspenseful plot kept me reading. Wonderful read.