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Kit's Law by Donna Morrissey
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Kit's Law (1999)

by Donna Morrissey

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335650,025 (3.76)30
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Donna Morrissey's first novel is just breathtaking. The writing is so good, the storyline is mesmerizing and the action rarely lets go. Morrissey has a talent for developing fully rounded characters and her descriptions bring the small Newfoundland coastal town to life.
I was a bit nervous about reading this one as the blurbs on the cover made it sound so grim and disturbing, but I found that although Kit lives a tough life, and things rarely work out for her, she does have allies and people who love her and are there for her. This is a novel that will stick with me. Highly recommended! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Unlike a lot of Canadian fiction, this one is about not leaving home although home is far from perfect. A girl comes of age in Newfoundland when her grandmother dies and she is left coping with her retarded mother and a hostile town. Library Book. ( )
  seeword | Oct 8, 2016 |
Set in a remote Newfoundland village in the 1950s, this beautiful first novel balances raunchy folk humour, riveting suspense and family tragedy with a young girl's profound first love. Fourteen-year-old Kit Pitman lives in a weather-beaten coastal cottage with her mentally disabled mother, Josie, and her fiercely protective grandmother, Nan (Lizzie)--a "shadow big enough to blot out all of Haire's Hollow." Both childlike and sexually promiscuous, Josie scandalizes the villagers, but Nan holds the family together until her abrupt death. When a group of locals tries to place Kit into foster care, she fights to keep her beloved gully-side home; with few friends, she cherishes quiet and isolation. Household help comes from her ailing aunt, Drucie, and from the reverend's son, Sid, with whom Kit falls deeply in love as the plot accelerates to a thriller's pace. Kit and Sid's ultimately doomed affair is unraveled first by a violent act of self-defense and then by impossible family secrets. With a poet's attention to sound, Morrissey combines wonderful, rich characters and compelling family intrigue with a powerful, almost meditative sense of place. Startling, vivid, and expertly crafted, this novel introduces an exciting writer whose career needs to be followed closely. ( )
2 vote Booktrovert | Apr 6, 2013 |
I enjoyed this book about three generations of women in New Foundland.

One complaint-- after reading the back cover text, I knew one of the central plot points after reading only the first paragraph of the book. That predictability was a bit disappointing but otherwise, a good read. ( )
  cms519 | Jun 21, 2010 |
Excellent. Good story line. Nfld setting. ( )
  hornelma | Aug 10, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
The problem is that once these characters are established, they are re-established again and again in scenes that add little to the story. Judicious editing could have shed one-quarter of the book, in return making it much stronger. ...There are echoes of Thomas Hardy here, the clash between fate and free will, and rampant coincidence...Morrissey does show a talent for poetic description, and while this debut has some difficulties, Kit’s Law is still a promising first effort.
 
This appealing first novel, set in coastal Newfoundland and certain to be compared to E. Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, was published to widespread acclaim in its author’s native Canada in 1999.... Morrissey’s warmth and genuinely respectful affection for her characters, Kit’s flinty, vigorous voice, and dialogue so salty it could pit aluminum are more than compensatory virtues.

Look for a film version soon, but don’t deny yourself the pleasure of reading the book. Kit’s Law is a charmer.
 
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To my mom amd dad, Claudine and Enerchius Osmond, who loved me
For their love and kindness during the writing of this book, I would like to thank my publisher, Cynthia Good, and my agent, Beverly Slopen, Michaeol Chadwick, Ann Kilcher, Lori Maruk and, most especially, my esteemed mentor, Mrs. Dianne Senechal.
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If you were to perch on a treetop and look down on Fox Cove, you would see a gully, about twenty feet across and with a brook gurgling down its spine to the seashore below and flanked on either side by a sea of rippling grass, cresting with Queen Anne's lace, and scented with a brew of burning birch, wet ground and kelp.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618109277, Paperback)

In this powerful debut novel from one of the most gifted storytellers to emerge from Canada since Carol Shields, we find “all the old-fashioned virtues: a vivid sense of place, an intricate and suspenseful plot, and a feisty heroine whom we can’t help rooting for on every page” (Margot Livesey). Kit Pitman is fourteen and lives in a ramshackle cottage on the outer banks of Newfoundland, where isolation is all she knows. The only visitors are fogbound fishermen and an occasional young man brought ashore to keep the bloodlines clean. But Kit’s isolation is compounded by the mystery that surrounds her family and her illegitimate birth. Her mother, Josie, is mentally retarded and often runs wild among the clapboard houses that dot the shore. Meanwhile, her grandmother Lizzie staunchly guards them both from the disapproving glances pious townsfolk cast their way. But when Lizzie dies suddenly, Kit and her childlike mother are left vulnerable to life’s harsh realities and to unexpected dangers that repeatedly threaten to break them apart. A wrenching story ensues, as Morrissey depicts with exceptional grace the way the lines between mother and daughter in this unlikely relationship, although blurred, are deeply felt. KIT'S LAW is a novel of extraordinary, almost mythical power and marks the debut of an enormous new talent.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Kit Pitman lives with her unstable mother in a cottage on the outer banks of Newfoundland. Her life is compounded by the mystery that surrounds her illegitimate birth. Morrissey depicts the way the lines between mother and daughter, although blurred, are deeply felt.… (more)

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