The Spawning Grounds by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

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Synopsis

The long-awaited new novel by the two-time Giller-shortlisted author is full of the qualities Gail Anderson-Dargatz's fans love: it's an intimate family saga rooted in the Thompson-Shuswap region of British Columbia, and saturated with the history of the place. A bold new story that bridges Native and white cultures across a bend in a river where the salmon run.


On one side of the river is a ranch once owned by Eugene Robertson, who came in the gold rush around 1860, and stayed on as a homesteader. On the other side is a Shuswap community that has its own tangled history with the river--and the whites. At the heart of the novel are Hannah and Brandon Robertson, teenagers who have been raised by their grandfather after they lost their mother. As the novel opens, the river is dying, its flow reduced to a trickle, and Hannah is carrying salmon past the choke point to the spawning grounds while her childhood best friend, Alex, leads a Native protest against the development further threatening the river. When drowning nearly claims the lives of both Hannah's grandfather and her little brother, their world is thrown into chaos. Hannah, Alex, and most especially Brandon come to doubt their own reality as they are pulled deep into Brandon's numinous visions, which summon the myths of Shuswap culture and tragic family stories of the past.
    The novel hovers beautifully in the fluid boundary between past and present, between the ordinary world and the world of the spirit, all disordered by the human and environmental crises that have knit the white and Native worlds together in love, and hate, and tragedy for 150 years. Can Hannah and her brother, and Alex, find a way forward that will neither destroy the river nor themselves?
 

About Gail Anderson-Dargatz

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GAIL ANDERSON-DARGATZ has been published worldwide in English and in manyother languages in more than fifteen territories. The Cure for Death by Lightning and A Recipe for Bees were international bestsellers, and were both finalists for the prestigious Giller Prize. The Cure for Death by Lightning won the UK's Betty Trask Prize, the BC Book Prize for Fiction and the VanCity Book Prize. Both A Rhinestone Button and her most recent novel, Turtle Valley, were national bestsellers. She lives in the Shuswap in southcentral British Columbia, the landscape found inso much of her writing.
 
Published September 6, 2016 by Knopf Canada. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction