The Town That Drowned by Riel Nason

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There is a moment or two when Ruby’s emotions are explained to the reader rather than manifested in the action of the story. But these instances are more than made up for by many flashes of clever humour and felicitous, well-paced storytelling that keeps you engaged throughout.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

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.
 

About Riel Nason

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Riel Nason writes about antiques and collectibles for the daily Telegraph-Journal. Her short stories have appeared in The Malahat Review, The Antigonish Review, Grain, and The Dalhousie Review. The Town That Drowned is her sensational debut novel.
 
Published September 30, 2011 by Goose Lane Editions. 280 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Shawn Syms on Dec 09 2011

There is a moment or two when Ruby’s emotions are explained to the reader rather than manifested in the action of the story. But these instances are more than made up for by many flashes of clever humour and felicitous, well-paced storytelling that keeps you engaged throughout.

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