The Interpreter of Silences

Evening swimmer, Big Harbour, Cape Breton

‘Summer announced its arrival in a hundred occulted ways: sphagnum rose and plumped, slope bogs and their tannic waters the colour of tea began to drain. Fireweed and black knapweed flowered on roadsides.’

Life, says Eve’s father, is a never-ending loop, like the journey of the eels he fishes, repeating endlessly from the Sargasso Sea to Seal Island. Now Eve is in her mid-thirties and has come home to Clam Harbour, Cape Breton, to take care of her father. But there are too many memories here and Eve knows very well that memory is not safe.’

         Noel, an American, has moved in to the abandoned house next door. He too is haunted by memories – of the Rwandans he met after the genocide while working with an NGO. In the end Eve’s journey home, to this safe harbour on the edge of a raging ocean, resolves her family’s tragic story. A thoughtful, lyrical, beautifully written novel touching on myth.


Hardback, paperback 2006

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