The Town That Drowned

The Town That Drowned

Book - 2011
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Winner, Commonwealth Book Prize, Canada and the Caribbean, Frye Academy Award, and Margaret and John Savage First Book Award

Shortlisted, CLA Young Adult Book Award, Red Maple Award, and University of Canberra Book of the Year

Longlisted, IMPAC Dublin Award and Canada Reads

Living with a weird brother in a small town can be tough enough. Having a spectacular fall through the ice at a skating party and nearly drowning are grounds for embarrassment. But having a vision and narrating it to the assembled crowd solidifies your status as an outcast.

What Ruby Carson saw during that fateful day was her entire town -- buildings and people -- floating underwater. Then an orange-tipped surveyor stake turns up in a farmer's field. Another is found in the cemetery. A man with surveying equipment is spotted eating lunch near Pokiok Falls. The residents of Haverton soon discover that a massive dam is being constructed and that most of their homes will be swallowed by the rising water. Suspicions mount, tempers flare, and secrets are revealed. As the town prepares for its own demise, 14-year-old Ruby Carson sees it all from a front-row seat.

Set in the 1960s, The Town That Drowned evokes the awkwardness of childhood, the thrill of first love, and the importance of having a place to call home. Deftly written in a deceptively unassuming style, Nason's keen insights into human nature and the depth of human attachment to place make this novel ripple in an amber tension of light and shadow.

ISBN: 9780864926401
Characteristics: 273 pages ;,22 cm.

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susan_findlay
Jul 31, 2017

This book was okay. It wasn't what I expected (the promotional blurb implies some sort of supernatural story; it isn't) but a story about somebody finding out that their town would cease to exist due to a dam being built on the same river sounds perfectly interesting.

That said, I didn't love it. It didn't captivate me. I never once felt like I just had to turn the page to see what happened next. The pace was very even which made it a little dull. There really wasn't much by way of crisis or climax (despite the novel being about an event that would be a huge crisis in someone's life).

I never got attached to Ruby, and very few of the other characters felt particularly fleshed out so I didn't care about them that much either. Ruby's brother Percy was probably the most interesting character, and he was the only one I ever worried about (once).

v
VRMurphy
Mar 31, 2016

Well-written, and a good story. I'll look for other work by this author.

mayfairlady Dec 07, 2014

Wonderful story of a young girl, a town and it's inhabitants as seen through her eyes.

LippyLa Nov 24, 2014

Set in the St. John River Valley, Ruby Carson's world is rocked by the news of a power dam that will flood her entire community. Struggling with loneliness and an autistic brother, Ruby learns confidence in the coming change.

ChristchurchLib Dec 02, 2013

A memorable novel from a Canadian author that’s told from the perspective of a teenage girl in a small town that is going to be flooded for a hydroelectric dam. It’s based on a true event from the late 1960s. The effect on the girl, her family and the townspeople makes for a likeable and touching novel with an appeal for YA readers as well.

knittingsister May 31, 2013

This is an excellent novel, set locally, by a local writer, published by a local press. So, it's interesting that I'd never heard of it until a friend in New Zealand strongly recommended it to me from the other side of the world where it's evidently extremely popular. I'm very glad that she told me about it.

It's very well written, and extremely true to life, as I was the same age as the narrator at the time the fictionalized events took place. Suddenly, I was a teenager again. My only tiny quibble with the book is that the St. John River is repeatedly called the Saint John River but that barely affected my enjoyment at all - I only mention it because in some ways I'm a bit like Percy.

For me, this is the best New Brunswick novel I've ever read. I loved it and I'm sure the characters are going to stay with me for a very long time.

keavah_ Apr 26, 2013

I did not like this book at all. I found it boring and I couldn't get through it, I did but it was hard.

ChristchurchLib Apr 15, 2013

A memorable novel from a Canadian author that’s told from the perspective of a teenage girl in a small town that is going to be flooded for a hydroelectric dam. It’s based on a true event from the late 1960s. The effect on the girl, her family and the townspeople makes for a likeable and touching novel with an appeal for YA readers as well.

v
vwruleschick
Apr 15, 2013

Small towns can be hard when you have been branded. Meet Ruby in Haverton, New Brunswick where her (weird) brother has branded her and an incident at the town's skating party will further cast her out from her schoolmates. Change is in the air, but none of the townspeople know what it is until the 4 Horsemen show up. She may have seen the future, but the future is murky like the water of the river that flows past them. Follow Ruby as she partakes in a weird and wonderful adventure where love and loss are along the path of growing up. Recommend.

gothgirl22612 Mar 19, 2013

Its very interesting because it has pictures on the title that describes the book.

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sasie
Oct 15, 2012

sasie thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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