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By Elizabeth Hay

In a small prairie college in 1929, Connie Flood is helping a backward pupil, Michael Graves, how you can learn. looking at them and darkening their lives is the primary, Parley Burns, whose unusual behaviour culminates in an assault so hectic its repercussions proceed to the current day.

Connie’s niece, Anne, tells the tale. Impelled through interest approximately her dynamic, adventurous aunt and her extra traditional mom, she revisits Connie’s previous and her mother’s damaged formative years. within the approach, she unravels the enigma of Parley Burns and the mysterious (and unrelated) deaths of 2 younger women. because the novel strikes deeper into their lives, the triangle of primary, instructor, pupil opens out into different emotional triangles – aunt, niece, lover; mom, daughter, granddaughter – until eventually a unexpected, capsizing love thrusts Anne herself right into a newly self sufficient lifestyles.

This spellbinding story – set in Saskatchewan and the Ottawa Valley – crosses generations and cuts to the bone. It probes the roots of obsessive love and hate, how the hurts and wishes of adolescence persist and are handed on as though within the blood. It lays naked the urgency of researching what we have been by no means instructed concerning the prior. And it celebrates the method of turning into who we're in a global jam-packed with startling connections that lie simply out of sight.

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