The Island Walkers: A Novel

The Island Walkers: A Novel

John Bemrose

Language: English

Pages: 464

ISBN: 0312423691

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

A Finalist for the 2003 Giller Prize

Across a bend of Ontario's Attawan River lies the Island, where, for generations, the Walkers have lived among other mill workers. But in the summer of 1965, with the threat of mill closures looming, the Walkers grapple with their personal crises, just as the rest of the town fights to protect its way of life.

Superbly crafted and deeply moving, this book is at once a love letter to a place, a gripping family saga, and testimony to the emergence of an important new novelist.


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lend you.” “That’d be great.” “Why don’t you come home with me now?” Mann said, bestirring himself. “I’ll see what I can root up.” They went together down the hall, past the ranks of massed dull-green lockers. Exiting at the rear of the school, they found several students unloading cartons from a van. “Hot off the press,” said a boy with a high forehead and premature widow’s peak: John Butler. He had ripped open a carton and was holding out a folded copy of The Poet’s Quill, the school

him as he signed a card at his kitchen table. When Alf got back to the Vimy House, he discovered that the other organizers had been successful too. In fact, they had put the union over the top, in fine style. They’d signed up almost fifty-seven per cent of the workforce, two per cent higher than was needed to achieve automatic certification. People who had held back for weeks had suddenly found reason or courage or weariness or anger enough to sign a card. It was as if there had been some change

the most important part. She was dragging her fingers through the hole she’d made in the sand, with an awkwardness that to Joe’s eyes made her seem much younger. He wanted to comfort her, but wasn’t sure she wanted him to. She seemed far away now, isolated in her unhappiness. “And it worked,” he said, “coming here?” “We didn’t come here right away. We went to visit my mother’s family, in Brittany. That’s where I started to get better.” “Ah,” he said. “It’s been fine here,” she said. “It’s

there could be no reprieve. Jimmy said, “What would be enough?” Again Prince frowned before he spoke. He seemed careworn, even troubled. “Look, this wasn’t easy for any of us. We didn’t take this decision lightly. But hell, the only reason Bannerman’s is here is because John Bannerman needed the power from the rivers. Well, we don’t use that kind of power any more, we need to be closer to our markets, we need to shed departments that are losing money, we need newer buildings, ones that don’t

in Italy, when a sniper had kept him pinned against a rock for an entire day … And then Sandy would arrive, swinging around the corner of the house in her beige Oasis uniform, her eyes going straight to Joe’s, her lips suppressing a smile that emerged anyway: their happiness a secret, though he saw now it must have been plain to everyone. All that was gone now, a summer, an eon, ago. Watching her father’s prodding screwdriver, he was filled with regret. “I found it in the cellar,” Charlie

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