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Mary Lawson's debut novel is a shimmering tale of love, death and redemption set in a rural northern community where time has stood still. Tragic, funny and unforgettable, this deceptively simple masterpiece about the perils of hero worship leapt to the top of the bestseller lists only days after being released in Canada and earned glowing reviews inTheNew York TimesandTheGlobe and Mail, to name a few. It will be published in more than a dozen countries worldwide, including the U. S. , the U. K. , Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. Luke, Matt, Kate and Bo Morrison are born in an Ontario farming community of only a few families, so isolated that "the road led only south. " There is little work, marriage choices are few, and the winter cold seeps into the bones of all who dare to live there. In the Morrisons' hard-working, Presbyterian house, the Eleventh Commandment is "Thou Shalt Not Emote. " But as descendants of a great-grandmother who "fixed a book rest to her spinning wheel so that she could read while she was spinning," the Morrison children have some hope of getting off the land through the blessings of education. Luke, the eldest, is accepted at teachers college - despite having struggle mightily through school - but before he can enroll, the Morrison parents are killed in a collision with a logging truck. He gives up his place to stay home and raise his younger sisters -- seven-year-old Kate, and Bo, still a baby. In this family bound together by loss, the closest relationship is that between Kate and her older brother Matt, who love to wander off to the ponds together and lie on the bank, noses to the water. Matt teaches his little sister to watch "damselflies performing their delicate iridescent dances," to understand how water beetles "carry down an air bubble with them when they submerge. " The life in the pond is one that seems to go on forever, in contrast to the abbreviated lives of the Morrison parents. Matt becomes Kate's hero and her guide, as his passionate interest in the natural world sparks an equal passion in Kate. Matt, a true scholar, is expected to fulfill the family dream by becoming the first Morrison to earn a university degree. But a dramatic event changes his course, and he ends up a farmer; so it is Kate who eventually earns the doctorate and university teaching position. She is never able to reconcile her success with what she considers the tragedy of Matt's failure, and she feels a terrible guilt over the sacrifices made for her. Now a successful biologist in her twenties, she nervously returns home with her partner, a microbiologist from an academic family, to celebrate Matt's son's birthday. Amid the clash of cultures, Kate takes us in and out of her troubled childhood memories. Accustomed to dissecting organisms under a microscope, she must now analyze her own emotional life. She is still in turmoil over the events of one fateful year when the tragedy of another local family spilled over into her own. There are things she cannot understand or forgive. In this universal drama of family love and misunderstandings, Lawson ratchets up the tension, her narrative flowing with consummate control in ever-increasing circles, overturning one's expectations to the end. Compared byPublishers Weeklyto Richard Ford for her lyrical, evocative writing, Lawson combines deeply drawn characters, beautiful writing and a powerful description of the land.
From the author of the beloved #1 national bestsellerCrow Lakecomes an exceptional new novel of jealously, rivalry and the dangerous power of obsession. Two brothers, Arthur and Jake Dunn, are the sons of a farmer in the mid-1930s, when life is tough and another world war is looming. Arthur is reticent, solid, dutiful and set to inherit the farm and his father's character; Jake is younger, attractive, mercurial and dangerous to know - the family misfit. When a beautiful young woman comes into the com...
He listened as their voices faded into the rumble of the falls. He was thinking about the lynx. The way it had looked at him, acknowledging his existence, then passing out of his life like smoke. . . It was the first thing--the only thing--that had managed, if only for a moment, to displace from his mind the image of the child. He had carried that image with him for a year now, and it had been a weight so great that sometimes he could hardly stand. Mary Lawson's beloved novels, Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge, have delighted legions of readers around the world. The fictional, northern Ontario town of Struan, buried in the winter snows, is the vivid backdrop to her breathtaking new novel. Roads End brings us a family unravelling in the aftermath of tragedy: Edward Cartwright, struggling to escape the legacy of a violent past; Emily, his wife, cloistered in her room with yet another new baby, increasingly unaware of events outside the bedroom door; Tom, their eldest son, twenty-five years old but home again, unable to come to terms with the death of a friend; and capable, formidable Megan, the sole daughter in a household of eight sons, who for years held the family together but has finally broken free and gone to England, to try to make a life of her own. Roads End is Mary Lawson at her best. In this masterful, enthralling, tender novel, which ranges from the Ontario silver rush of the early 1900s to swinging London in the 1960s, she gently reveals the intricacies and anguish of family life, the push and pull of responsibility and individual desire, the way we can face tragedy, and in time, hope to start again.
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