At the heart of Sointula is Evelyn, a middle-aged woman who abandons her privileged existence. She throws away the trappings of her civilized life—her antidepressants and her air ticket home, her wallet and most of the clothes off her back—steals a kayak, and embarks on a quest that takes her deep into the wilderness. The goal: to find Tom—her strange, damaged son—in the remote village of Sointula. Equal parts light and dark, compassion and irony, this is Gaston’s most mature work.
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BILL GASTON is the author of seven novels and six collections of short fiction. He teaches at the University of Victoria and is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2003 inaugural Timothy Findley Lifetime Achievement Award and the CBC/Canadian Literary Award. Mount Appetite, one of his collections of short stories, was shortlisted for the 2002 Giller Prize, and another, Gargoyles, was shortlisted for the 2006 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. His most recent novel, The World, won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and his most recent story collection, Juliet Was a Surprise, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.Review:
"A hugely skilled storyteller." - Georgia Straight
“Compelling.... Gaston’s passion for Vancouver Island shows through .... The mountains, the wilderness, the sea life, even the threatening rainstorms take on an enchanted quality that balances the human drama.” - Edmonton Journal
“It’s a precisely woven tapestry ... Characterizations are particularly rich and searching, and the resolution of their quests, in an extended dénoument comprising one brilliant scene after another, is virtually beyond praise.” - Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Gaston ... is that rare writer who can peel back the deepest fears of Nature (abandonment, pain, futility) and find a vision of vehement, imperfect beauty.” - Publishers Weekly
“A full, rich tapestry of characters. [Gaston] also manages to bring together snugly the divergent plot lines and different thematic threads by novel’s end, no easy narrative feat.” - The Globe and Mail
“Each new book by Bill Gaston reminds us that he is one of our best writers — original, versatile, skilled, wise, surprising, and fearless. In Sointula he travels elegantly — navigating below the surface of things as he tracks two troubled souls on their separate journeys north to an uncertain future. In joining him, the reader is rewarded on every page.” - Jack Hodgins
“Gaston really gets Vancouver Island. He gets it more than any other living Canadian writer, and his love of the place seeps into the pages of Sointula.” - Quill & Quire
“[Gaston’s] writing is sharp, and his observations comic but revealing.... Fans of Gaston will find the same backhanded observations, the same surprising insights and gleeful perversities shared by the characters as in his previous books. He excels at getting inside hearts of all ages.... Gaston has crafted a celebration of B.C.’s coast, heavy with insight and all the passion of an islander’s proprietary eye. His latest book vividly captures the coast’s rhythms, its natural beauty, and its challenges.” - Books in Canada
“The author is a master at creating characters with deft understatement and dead right dialogue. He is also brilliant with images and symbols that lace the book like the wildlife that leaps and pounces through the landscape.... In addition to a riveting plot and characters that intrigue and often anger, the language urges you to languish even as you speed along to that unimaginable ending, that inevitable final paragraph that seems so right in retrospect.” - January Magazine
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2012. Soft cover. Book Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Penguin (Canada) first edition paperback, 2012. 'As new' condition with clean, unmarked pages and no creasing to spine or cover. Dispatched from UK within three days. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1502456440856