Here is a gorgeous, slowburning story set in the rural 'badlands' of Northern Ontario, where tragedy and hardship are mirrored in the landscape, and even laying too much store by education can be subtly dangerous. For the farming Pye family, life is a Greek tragedy where the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, and hideous events occur - offstage. Centrestage, are the Morrisons whose tragedy looks more immediate if less brutal, but is in reality insidious and divisive. Orphaned young, Kate Morrison, was her older brother Matt's protege, her fascination for pondlife fed by his passionate interest in the natural world. Now a zoologist she can identify organisms under a microscope, but seems blind to the tragedy of her own emotional life. And she thinks she's outgrown her family - Luke, Matt and Bo, who were once her entire world. In this universal drama of family love and misunderstandings, of resentments harboured and driven underground, Lawson ratchets up the tension, paying out her story with heartbreaking humour and consummate control, so as to overturn one's expectations right to the end. Tragic, funny, unforgettable - a quiet masterpiece that deserves to be bestseller.
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