The Innocents by Michael Crummey
Michael Crummey is an award-winning poet and writer from St. John’s Newfoundland. His novel, The innocents was inspired by ancient mariners, shipwrecks and the rugged coast of Newfoundland. In his research, he came across a 18th century traveling clergyman who discovered a brother and his pregnant 15-year-old sister living alone in an isolated location in Newfoundland. The children’s parents had died leaving them to survive on their own.
This book is deep, dark. and gritty. I immersed myself in this harrowing tale of Ada and Evered struggle to survive after the death of their parents.
"Their father died in his bed before the new year.
Without speaking of it they acted as if he was only asleep and they left him lying there for the better part of a week. Hoping he might wake up coughing in the middle of the night, complaining about the cold or asking after a drink of water. During the day they dawdled about in the store and spent as much time outside as they could stand, cleaving and stacking wood or hauling buckets of water from the brook, picking along the landwash for gull feathers and mussel shells and wish rocks to add to Ada's collection. Inside they tended the fireplace and drank their bare-legged tea and spoke in whispers so as not to disturb the man.
On the fifth night of the vigil Ada woke from a dream of her parents. They were standing back on, holding hands and looking at her over their shoulders. Her mother was naked and soaking wet, her hair streaming water.
"What is it you're bawling over, Sister?" Evered asked. "He can't stay," she whispered."
Read more about the book in an interview with Michael Crummey and the Global and Mail. Michael Crummey returns with The Innocents exploring complex physical elements of adolescence
PUBLISHED AUGUST 30, 2019
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