About the Book
With his wicked grin and confident swagger, navy musician Jack Lewis evokes Frank Sinatra whenever he takes the stage. While stationed in Newfoundland during the Second World War, Jack meets Vivian Fanshawe, a local girl who has never stepped off the Rock. They marry against the wishes of Vivian’s family—hard to say what it is, but there’s something about Jack they just don’t like—and as the war ends, the couple travels to Windsor, Ontario, to meet Jack’s family.
But when Vivian encounters Jack’s mother and brother, everything she thought she knew about her husband—his motives, his honesty, even his race—is called into question. And as the truth about the Lewis family tree emerges, life for Vivian and Jack will never be the same.
Told from the perspective of three unforgettable characters—Vivian, the innocent newlywed; Jack, her beguiling and troubled husband; and William Henry, Jack’s stoic father—this extraordinary novel explores the cost of prejudice on generation after generation. Steeped in the jazz and big band music of the 1930s and 1940s, this is an arresting, heart-rending novel about fathers and sons, love and denial, and race relations in a world on the cusp of momentous change.
About the Author
Wayne Grady is the award-winning author of Emancipation Day, a novel of denial and identity that was long-listed for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize and has won the 2013 Amazon.ca First Novel Award. He has also written such works of science and nature as The Bone Museum, Bringing Back the Dodo, The Quiet Limit of the World, and The Great Lakes, which won a National Outdoor Book Award in the U.S. With his wife, novelist Merilyn Simonds, he co-authored Breakfast at the Exit Café: Travels Through America. And with David Suzuki he co-wrote the international bestseller Tree: A Life Story.
He has also translated fourteen works of fiction from the French, by such authors as Antonine Maillet, Yves Beauchemin, and Danny Laferrière. In 1989, he won the Governor General’s Award for his translation of Maillet’s On the Eighth Day. His most recent translation is of Louis Hamelin’s October 1970, published by House of Anansi Press in 2013.
Grady teaches creative writing in the optional-residency MFA program at the University of British Columbia. He and Merilyn Simonds live in the country north of Kingston, Ontario.
To read Wayne’s complete biography, visit his official website.
Author photo credit: Don Denton