A NovelBook - 2014
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GEORGES BUGNET AWARD FOR FICTION!
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 RELIT AWARDS!
In North East , Wendy McGrath expands on the story she began with Santa Rosa , as a working class couple living in 1960s Edmonton drift further apart while their young daughter tries to understand something she senses is hiding under the surface of her family and her neighbourhood. A visit to her grandparents' farm in the country reveals the abject poverty the couple came to the city to escape, and the internecine marital strife that threatens to be born anew.
McGrath's crystalline, evocative prose conjures an image of the past that defies nostalgia, conjuring images of a city that is in the midst of rewriting its own history. Through the all-seeing eyes of her child protagonist McGrath conjures indelible scenes of harsh domesticity and small victories, of endless summertime days spent around the home and evenings at the drive-in theatre.
Praise for North East :
"If the first entry in this trilogy felt like an elegy for a place, this second book is more an early funeral for a family struggling to remain cogent. This is an elegant, artful piece of work."
--Andrew Wilmot, All Lit Up
"The interplay between form and content is masterful."
Rona Altrows, Alberta Views
"[e]ven as the memory of Santa Rosa seems at risk of disappearing from the city's consciousness entirely, McGrath's fiction provides a bolt of hope. Her trilogy, once complete, may be the most visible and lasting tribute this neighbourhood has left."
--Michael Hingston, Edmonton Journal
"Wendy McGrath, who is originally from Saskatchewan, has this poetic proficiency for illustrating the seemingly insignificant details of childhood, in the underwhelming idiosyncracies of youth and how they fathom the world around them."
--Emil Tiedemann, I Heart Edmonton
"... crystalline moments of poetic clarity."
--Jade Colbert, Globe and Mail
"Wendy McGrath's novel is a must-read for those of us wanting to recapture the innocence of being a young child and the nostalgia associated with our hometowns."
--Alexandira Wolfe, The Wanderer Online
"A compelling and solidly entertaining read from beginning to end."
-- Midwest Book Review
"tremulous and dreamlike"
--Julienne Isaacs, Humber Literary Review