At the outset, ten-year-old Jim and his Canadian mother and American father are on a journey from New York City to a beautiful lake in eastern Ontario during the last hot days of August. Over the next few pivotal years of Jim's youth, the novel moves from city to country, summer to winter, well-being to illness, as it charts the deepening bond between mother and son, even as their small family starts to fall to pieces. Set in the mid-1990s, when Quebec was on the verge of seceding from Canada, this captivating novel is an unconventional coming-of-age story that draws readers in with its warmth, wisdom, its vivid sense of place, its searching honesty, and nuanced portrait of the lives of a family and those closest to it.… (more)
...It was cold Was the point of the dream And the snow was falling
Which must be an old dream of families Dispersing into adulthood
For my son and daughter, reluctant Canadians, with love and gratitude.
From the back seat of the old Chevette, heading north, the boy asked his question into the restless air. He had on a T-shirt big enough for a big man and he was being cooked by the late-August sun streaming in on his side.
Jim put his arm around her, closing briefly the space that was opening between them. All morning the leaves kept falling on their lake of bays.