The Deception of Livvy Higgs [Hardcover] by Donna Morrissey

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For all the darkness and confusion of her past, Livvy is an endearing character — based partly on a real person, whom Morrissey thanks in her acknowledgements — caught in a family fuelled by deceit. It’s a novel that’s both familiar and surprising, and it is an engrossing read.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

For two traumatic days, Livvy Higgs is besieged by a series of small heart attacks while the ghost of her younger self leads her back through a past devastated by lies and secrets.

The story opens in Halifax in 2009, travels back to the French Shore of Newfoundland during the mid-thirties and the heyday of the Maritime shipping industry, makes its way to wartorn Halifax during the battle of the Atlantic in World War II, then leaps ahead to the bedside of the elder Livvy.

Caught between a troubled past, and her present and worsening living conditions, Livvy is forced to pick apart the lies and secrets told by her greedy, prideful father, Durwin Higgs, who judges her a failure, and her formidable Grandmother Creed, who has mysteriously aligned herself with Livvy's father, despite their mutual hatred.

Tending to Livvy during her illness is her young next-door neighbour, Gen, a single mother and social-work student. Overnight, a violent scene embroils the two in each other's lives in a manner that will entwine them forever. In The Deception of Livvy Higgs, the inimitable Morrissey has written a powerful tale, the Stone Angel of the East Coast.

 

About Donna Morrissey

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Donna Morrissey was born in The Beaches, a small village on the northwest coast of Newfoundland that had neither roads nor electricity until the 1960s - a place not unlike Haire's Hollow, which she depicts in "Kit's Law". When she was sixteen, Morrissey left The Beaches & struck out across Canada, working odd jobs from bartending to cooking in oil rig camps to processing fish in fish plants. She went on to earn a degree in social work at Memorial University in St. Johns. It was not until she was in her late thirties that Morrissey began writing short stories, at the urging of a friend, a Jungian analyst, who insisted she was a writer. Eventually she adapted her first two stories into screenplays, which both went on to win the Atlantic Film Festival Award; one aired recently on CBC. "Kit's Law" is Morrissey's first novel, the winner of the Canadian Booksellers Association First-Time Author of the Year Award & shortlisted for many prizes, including the Atlantic Fiction Award & the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Morrissey lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
 
Published September 18, 2012 by Viking. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Deception of Livvy Higgs [Hardcover]
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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Angela Hickman on Oct 12 2012

For all the darkness and confusion of her past, Livvy is an endearing character...caught in a family fuelled by deceit. It’s a novel that’s both familiar and surprising, and it is an engrossing read.

Read Full Review of The Deception of Livvy Higgs ... | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Angela Hickman on Oct 12 2012

For all the darkness and confusion of her past, Livvy is an endearing character — based partly on a real person, whom Morrissey thanks in her acknowledgements — caught in a family fuelled by deceit. It’s a novel that’s both familiar and surprising, and it is an engrossing read.

Read Full Review of The Deception of Livvy Higgs ... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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