There is no road to Rocky Head or The Basin, two tiny fishing hamlets hugging the isolated coves of Newfoundland. But remoteness is no barrier to the global reach of World War II which has its tragic impact, even here. Job Gale enlists in the army, leaving his distraught wife and two young daughters behind for a cause neither they nor their neighbours can understand. When Job returns at last, he is broken in body and tortured with a secret shame. Job's burden cascades over the family, afflicting his spirited firstborn Clair. Seeking escape, she becomes a teacher at nearby Rocky Head and falls in love with Luke. Clair and Luke struggle separately with their burdens, helping each other gain courage to confront their demons and disappointments. When they arrive at the summit they finally can see the clear path below. On the downhill journey, the load may not be lessened, but it feels lighter and easier to carry.
The Fortunate Brother
The Fortunate Brother is a dark, atmospheric and compelling novel about the aftermath of a murder in a claustrophobic rural community in Newfoundland. When a body is found in the lake suspicion falls on the troubled Now family. As the mystery unfolds other, far deeper, secrets are revealed. Compassionate and wise, beautiful and brutal, The Fortunate Brother is the story of a family and a community in turmoil and confirms Donna Morrissey's place as one of Canada's foremost storytellers.
Through this story of love, loss, and facing the inevitabilities of life in a floundering community, the sea is a potent presence, modernization ravaging its shores and bringing it to the cusp of cataclysmic change. Ultimately, Sylvanus Now is a story of redemption against all odds "in a world vanished, but brought vividly back to life in Morrissey's caring hands" (Quill and Quire).