Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
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Crow Lake
By Mary Lawson

Crow Lake

By (author) See other recent books by Mary Lawson
Format: Paperback

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Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

Book Awards

  • Winner of McKitterick Prize 2003.

Book Description

Crow Lake is that rare find, a first novel so quietly assured, so compelling, and with an emotional charge so perfectly controlled, that you sense at once that this is the real thing - a literary experience to relish, a book to lose yourself in, and a name to watch. Here is a gorgeous, slowburning story of families growing up and tearing each other apart in rural Northern Ontario, where tragedy and hardship are mirrored in the landscape. Centre stage are the Morrisons whose tragedy is insidious and divisive. Orphaned young, Kate Morrison was her older brother Matt's protegee, her curious fascination for pond-life fed by his passionate interest in the natural world. Now a zoologist, she can identify organisms under a microscope, but seems blind to the tragedy of her own emotional life. She thinks she's outgrown her family, who were once her entire world - but she can't seem to outgrow her childhood or lighten the weight of their mutual past.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099429326
ISBN-10: 0099429322
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 22mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 6-Feb-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Mary Lawson

Road Ends by Mary Lawson Road Ends, Paperback (February 2015)

Megan Cartwright has never been outside the small town she was born in but one winter's day in 1966 she leaves everything behind and sets out for London. Ahead of her is a glittering new life, just waiting for her to claim it. But left behind, her family begins to unravel.

Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson Other Side of the Bridge, Paperback / softback (August 2007)

This mesmerizing novel of jealously, rivalry, and the dangerous power of obsession, chronicles two generations in a small town in Ontario, which are tragically linked by fate and community but separated by a war which devours its young men--its unimaginable horror reaching right into the heart of this remote corner of an empire.

» View all books by Mary Lawson


UK Kirkus Review » This is a debut novel of astonishing power, and an intimate dissection of the heartbreaking nature of sacrifice. Canada is a vast land of wide open spaces, yet Mary Lawson's novel focuses on the tiny community of Crow Lake with a suffocating intensity. Here, the Morrisons and the Pyes have held sway for generations. The Morrisons have always set great store by education, ever since Grandmother Morrison took to reading a book while she was spinning. But tragedy strikes, and the carefully laid plans for the education of the Morrison children are shelved as the four young orphans have to fight for their very existence. Meanwhile, life on the isolated Pye farm continues under a conspiracy of silence, as the sins of earlier generations seem destined to be repeated. Even more sacrifices are demanded of the Morrisons, sacrifices that Kate, the narrator of this tragic story, finds too painful to contemplate. She has left the stifling closeness of life at Crow Lake to carve out a new life for herself in Toronto as an invertebrate zoologist, and believes she has thrown off the old family ties, but as she returns to Crow Lake for a birthday party she is forced to confront her past mistakes; it is time to learn to forgive and to make her peace with her family. Mary Lawson?s novel represents certain moral expectations that seem out of place in modern society - unflinching family loyalty, obedience and an acute sense of what is right. Sacrifice and a sense of duty are unquestioned, whether it is Luke Morrison insisting that he will support his siblings whatever it takes, or Marie Pye keeping silent about her father's brutality. Kate moves uneasily between her two worlds - Crow Lake where time seems to have stood still for generations and modern life in Toronto. How she eventually reconciles these contradictory parts of her own nature is the crux of this intensely moving novel. Crow Lake is a compelling work that will haunt the reader long after the final page has been turned. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Mary Lawson

Mary Lawson's first novel, Crow Lake, was admired by critics and adored by readers all over the world; translated into 19 languages and published in 21 countries, it was a New York Times bestseller and spent 75 weeks on the bestseller lists in her native Canada. She was born and brought up in a farming community in Ontario, a distant relative of L. M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. Lawson came to England in 1968, is married with two grown-up sons and lives in Kingston-upon-Thames. Her acclaimed first novel was chosen by You magazine for its Reading Group and won the McKitterick Prize.

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