Mr B's review
Set in the icy Canadian wilderness, this brilliant novel follows the path of young Zachary as he and his father move to a cabin at the edge of Sitting Down Lake. The landscape is harsh and seemingly unforgiving but somehow offers the small, kooky community that inhabits it both solace and hope. The writing is wonderfully understated, and this coming-of-age tale isn’t just about Zachary, but the other lost folk at the edge of society. Simultaneously pensive and warming, this is hands down the best I’ve read this year.
“What you could change and alter could never be finished or complete or dead. This is what I had been told back then, and what I had tried very hard to believe in since.”Beside a lake in the northern Canadian wilderness, fifteen year old Zachary Tayler lives a lonely and isolated life with his father. His only neighbours are a leech trapper, an eccentric millionaire, and an expert in snow. But then one summer the enigmatic and shape-shifting Eva Spiller arrives in search of the remains of her parents and together they embark on a strange and disconcerting journey of discovery. Nothing at Sitting Down Lake is quite as it seems. The forest hides ruins and mysteries; the past can never be fully understood. And as Zach and Eva make their way through this haunted landscape, they move ever closer towards an acceptance of what in the end is lost and what can truly be found.
“Superbly accomplished … Hughes’ prose is startling and luminous.” –Financial Times