Synopses & Reviews
From a village in Nova Scotia to the trenches of France, P. S. Duffy's astonishing debut showcases a rare talent emerging in midlife.
"Duffy's astounding first novel depicts terrifyingly real battle scenes, rich in subtle details, displaying the intimacies shared among soldiers and the memories that haunt them. VERDICT... Essential reading for historical fiction lovers and war story fans alike; very highly recommended." Library Journal, starred review
"Physical and emotional geography are beautifully rendered, and Duffy's vivid descriptions illuminate war's transformative effect in fresh ways. Well-nuanced characters and carefully choreographed (but still surprising) situations make this a strong debut." Publishers Weekly
"[T]hanks to Duffy's full realization--each character, however minor, is a distinct personality; the action is grounded in closely observed details of fishing life and trench warfare; and her patience in developing the cast of characters makes for an unusually rich novel. In addition, the world of shipping and the uncertainty of the uncharted front line provide poignant metaphors for the characters' navigation of conflict, loss, and change, as well as their journey back to each other--and to themselves." Booklist, Starred Review
"To call this novel a coming-of-age story is not nearly enough; every character in this beautiful novel--young or old--is faced with a rapidly changing world and the task of finding firm-footing within it. Never sentimental, Duffy knows where to find the humanity at the heart of even the smallest gestures. By the end I was so immersed in this story that I swear I could hear water lapping the pilings." Mary Beth Keane, author of Fever
"Less of a book about maps and World War I than it is about boys becoming men, men discovering who they are, and the connections between fathers and sons. . . . P.S. Duffy spent many years writing this remarkable debut; was worth the wait." Alexi Zentner, author of Touch
"A graceful, dignified look at all the ways in which war is endured: from the stories people tell to keep themselves alive at the front, to the fault lines that threaten the home-front bond. This is a moving and memorable debut." Jessica Francis Kane, author of The Report
"A haunting meditation on family, friendship, and sacrifice. . . . A powerful debut." Amy Brill, author of The Movement of Stars
The lauded masterpiece about a family divided by World War I, hailed as "brilliant . . . altogether a remarkable debut" (Simon Mawer, author of ).
From a village in Nova Scotia to the trenches of France, P. S. Duffy s astonishing debut showcases a rare talent emerging in midlife.
When his beloved brother-in-law goes missing at the front in 1916, Angus defies his pacifist upbringing to join the war and find him. Assured a position as a cartographer in London, he is instead sent directly into battle. Meanwhile, at home, his son Simon Peter must navigate escalating hostility in a town torn by grief. Selected as both a Barnes & Noble Discover pick and one of the American Bookseller Association s Debut Dozen, The Cartographer of No Man s Land offers a soulful portrayal of World War I and the lives that were forever changed by it, both on the battlefield and at home.
About the Author
P. S. Duffy traces her Nova Scotian roots back over 250 years. She herself sailed in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, for thirty summers. She now lives with her husband in Rochester, Minnesota. This is her first novel.