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Crow Lakeby Mary Lawson
Synopses & Reviews
Crow Lake is that rare find, a first novel so quietly assured, so emotionally pitch perfect, you know from the opening page that this is the real thing ? a literary experience in which to lose yourself, by an author of immense talent.
Here is a gorgeous, slow-burning story set in the rural ?badlands? of northern Ontario, where heartbreak and hardship are mirrored in the landscape. For the farming Pye family, life is a Greek tragedy where the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, and terrible events occur?offstage.
Centerstage 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 protegee, her fascination for pond life fed by his passionate interest in the natural world. Now a zoologist, she can identify organisms under a microscope but seems blind to the state of her own emotional life. And she thinks she?s outgrown her siblings ? Luke, Matt, and Bo ? who were once her entire world.
In this universal drama of family love and misunderstandings, of resentments harbored and driven underground, Lawson ratchets up the tension with heartbreaking humor and consummate control, continually overturning one?s expectations right to the very end. Tragic, funny, unforgettable, Crow Lake is a quiet tour de force that will catapult Mary Lawson to the forefront of fiction writers today.
"Crow Lake is — in its structure, its major characters, and its affect — a quite traditional novel; and in its earnest resolution, it is perhaps a young one....But the assurance with which Mary Lawson handles both reflection and violence makes her a writer to read and to watch." Janet Burroway, The New York Times Book Review
"Lawson achieves a breathless anticipatory quality in her surprisingly adept first novel, in which a child tells the story, but tells it very well indeed." Danise Hoover, Booklist
"Lawson delivers a potent combination of powerful character writing and gorgeous description of the land. Her sense of pace and timing is impeccable throughout....This is a vibrant, resonant novel by a talented writer whose lyrical, evocative writing invites comparisons to Rick Bass and Richard Ford." Publishers Weekly
"Elegant, beautifully paced, and deeply resonant of the fears of children too young to have a vocabulary to express such feelings, this is a terrific debut." Library Journal
"Crow Lake is a remarkable novel, utterly gripping and yet highly literate. I read it in a single sitting, then I read it again, just for pleasure. I await her next work with eagerness (and a little envy)." Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
"A finely crafted debut...conveys an astonishing intensity of emotion, almost Proustian in its sense of loss and regret." Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)
For the farming Pye family of northern Ontario, life is a Greek tragedy where the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, and terrible events occur offstage. In this universal drama of family love and misunderstandings, Lawson ratchets up the tension with heartbreaking humor and consummate control.
About the Author
Mary Lawson was born and brought up in a farming community in Ontario. After graduating from McGill University she went to England for a holiday and stayed on; she lives there still, with her husband and sons, though she returns to Canada every year.
From the Hardcover edition.
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