Synopses & Reviews
Howard Norman, widely regarded as one of this countrys finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books—The Bird Artist
, The Museum Guard
, and The Haunting of L
—in this erotically charged and morally complex story.
Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges—the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda.
Setting in motion the novels chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of the German student Hans Mohring, carrying only a satchel. Actual historical incidents—including a German U-boats sinking of the Nova Scotia-Newfoundland ferry Caribou, on which Aunt Constance Hillyer might or might not be traveling—lend intense narrative power to Normans uncannily layered story.
Wyatts account of the astonishing—not least to him— events leading up to his fathering of a beloved daughter spills out twenty-one years later. Its a confession that speaks profoundly of the mysteries of human character in wartime and is directed, with both despair and hope, to an audience of one.
An utterly stirring novel. This is Howard Norman at his celebrated best.
"The quiet power of this book comes on slowly and unrelentingly, offering a mesmerizing look into one mans past. Creating one of the most captivating and effective uses of the retrospective letter format in recent memory, Normans prose is understated, eloquent and perfectly chosen, and his novel paints a picture of one mans legacy that will not soon be lost."
—BookPage "The latest from master of precision Howard Norman is again set in the gray majesty of Nova Scotia, where 17-year-old orphan Wyatt Hillyer moves in with his devoted aunt and uncle and their adopted daughter, Tilda, the love of stoic Wyatt's life. The ravages of Hitler and his dastardly German U-boats lurking beneath Canadian waters hit their home hard. In What Is Left the Daughter, Norman writes with spare elegance and dry humor, and the extraordinary emotional power of his slim new novel is earned with authentic grace.
Norman, widely regarded as one of this country's finest novelists, returns to the mesmerizing fictional terrain of his major books--"The Bird Artist, The Museum Guard," and "The Haunting of L"--in this erotically charged and morally complex story.
A novel about the murder of a German youth in Canada during WWII.
About the Author
HOWARD NORMAN is a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction. His 1987 novel, The Northern Lights, was nominated for a National Book Award, as was his 1994 novel The Bird Artist. He is also author of the novels The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, and Devotion. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Norman teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Vermont with his wife and daughter.