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All the Things We Leave Behind

Goose Lane Editions


Shortlisted for the New Brunswick Book Award for Fiction

A novel of absence and adolescence by the author of the award-winning The Town That Drowned.

It's 1977. Seventeen-year-old Violet is left behind by her parents to manage their busy roadside antique stand for the summer. Her restless older brother, Bliss, has disappeared, leaving home without warning, and her parents are off searching for clues. Violet is haunted by her brother's absence while trying to cope with her new responsibilities. Between visiting a local hermit, who makes twig furniture for the shop, and finding a way to land the contents of the mysterious Vaughan estate, Violet acts out with her summer boyfriend, Dean, and wonders about the mysterious boneyard. But what really keeps her up at night are thoughts of Bliss's departure and the white deer, which only she has seen.

All the Things We Leave Behind is about remembrance and attachment, about what we collect and what we leave behind. In this highly affecting novel, Nason explores the permeability of memory and the sometimes confusing bonds of human emotion.

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"Filled with strong characters and objects of forgotten desire — perfume bottles, tintypes, rabbit-eared chairs — Riel Nason's All the Things We Leave Behind subtly unravels the mind's delusions and the past's seduction. Haunting, bittersweet."

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"A powerful rumination on the universal aches of loss, existential dread, and adolescence."

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"Nason has written a tender and loving portrayal of one young girl grappling with absence in a world crowded with the past. Full of heart, honesty and beauty."

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"All the Things We Leave Behind is full of sensory detail and evocative prose, and like its author, Riel Nason, is a gift to Canadian literature. From teh cheerful Purple Barn antique shop, to the mysitical boneyard deep in the woods, to a missing brother named Bliss, main character Violet carries us effortlessly through this lovely coming-of-age story not afraid to show its haunting side."

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"This book is about much more than a summer spent growing up. It's about the meaning of life and death and how a person copes with a great loss. It's about haunting and spiritual messages and whether we're open to receiving them. It's about siblings — both the fun memories and the complex relationships they share."

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Riel Nason is the author of The Town That Drowned, which won both the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize for Canada and Europe and the 2012 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. The novel was also a finalist for several other awards, in addition to being longlisted for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Nason was a professional antique dealer for many years and for more than a decade wrote a column on collectibles for New Brunswick's Telegraph-Journal. As well as being a writer, she is an acclaimed textile artist. Riel lives in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, with her family.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »The Town That Drowned«

Leseprobe vom

The Town That Drowned

Goose Lane Editions


Winner, Commonwealth Book Prize, Canada and Europe, 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

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.

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"Charming, wry, and believable ... Nason has a particular gift for introducing supporting characters with memorable anecdotes, each of which reads like a sparkling little gem of a short story ... Ruby's voice, vibrating with contradictory desires, [delivers] shot-to-the-heart moments of real humour and pathos."

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"[A] captivating debut novel ... many flashes of clever humour and felicitous, well-paced storytelling that keeps you engaged throughout."

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"If her debut novel, The Town That Drowned, is any indication, Riel Nason is a writer to watch. This tender tale about a New Brunswick village threatened by the provincial government's plan to build a dam has a ton of soul."

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"Riel Nason's debut novel establishes her as a writer with a bright future ... Nason's writing is warm and empathetic. She has a lovely ear for dialogue and her townspeople are well drawn. She also does a terrific job capturing the feel of a 1960s rural New Brunswick."

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"The writing is finely polished, the locale evocative, and her dialogue rings true. In Ruby, she nails the voice of youth."

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"An impressive first novel."

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"The Town That Drowned is not easily forgotten."

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"Nason writes with a keen logic and with the kind of wisdom that comes from an astute understanding of what it is to be human. It is a gift, and Nason brings this gift to the book's protagonist fourteen-year-old Ruby Carson ... From the smell of hot chocolate when Ruby regains consciousness from her fall, to the Nesbitt's Orange pop bottle sealed with canning wax, Nason imbues every scene with sensory delight. But anything of the quaint or peculiarly local in this book takes a back seat to the voice of Ruby Carson. She is one of a kind."

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"Fantastic ... I had such an emotional reaction ... The ending is so hopeful and uplifting. Highly recommended."

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"This is a lighthearted and well-written book that I would recommend to anyone."

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"[T]his is a vivid, intimate novel that works equally well for adult and young-adult readers. ... Nason's genius in this novel is not just to tell an important historical story that needed to be told but to find exactly the right perspective from which to tell it. ... The Town That Drowned is a warm, intimate story in which every character feels as real as someone you might meet on the street."

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"This is a richly detailed journey through a young woman's perspective, and the story flows like a gentle river as the reader watches a catastrophe unfold in slow motion. ... It's haunting and memorable, and simply a lovely read."

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"I loved it. It's Canadian historical fiction with a tiny touch of the paranormal."

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Riel Nason is a writer and textile artist. She is the author of three novels, one for middle-grade readers; a children’s picture book; and two books on quilting. The Town That Drowned was her debut novel. It won the Commonwealth Book Prize for Canada and Europe and the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. She lives in Quispamsis, New Brunswick.

 
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