Claire Sullivan struggles to overcome loss and dislocation, to reconnect with the central people in her life and restart her emotional growth in this powerful prairie coming-of-age novel.
Claire Sullivan quickly settles in to her new home at Clearwater Lake in northern Manitoba, especially once she befriends Jeff Carson, a quiet mixed-race loner who lives with his parents in the other half of the Sullivans’ duplex. Together, the teens roam the wild, isolated beauty of the nearby lakeshore and forest, forging a deep friendship based on loyalty and trust. As peaceful as things seem on the surface, Claire and Jeff are both battling powerful undercurrents at home. Claire worries that her sister, Leah, who has been sexually assaulted, is sinking into a drug-fuelled depression, while Jeff ﬁnds it difﬁcult to stand ﬁrm in the face of his father’s increasingly brutal temper. When Leah commits suicide, the consequences are far-reaching and devastating. Claire retreats to Regina to redeﬁne her idea of family, while Jeff leaves his own family behind, drifting from place to place, unable to settle down. Although they both keep moving forward through time, their lives seem to have stalled.Years later, after several near misses, a chance meeting ﬁrst reopens old wounds, but ultimately allows Claire and Jeff to return to Clearwater Lake, and make another try at acceptance, and maybe happiness.