North East

In North East, Wendy McGrath expands on the story she began with Santa Rosa, as a working class couple living in 1960s Edmonton drift further apart while their young daughter tries to understand subtle shifts she senses taking place under the surface of her family and her neighbourhood. A visit to her grandparents’ farm in the country reveals the abject poverty the couple came to the city to escape, and the internecine marital strife that threatens to be born anew.

McGrath’s crystalline, evocative prose conjures an image of the past that defies nostalgia, conjuring images of a city that is in the midst of rewriting its own history. Through the all-seeing eyes of her child protagonist McGrath conjures indelible scenes of harsh domesticity and small victories, of endless summertime days spent around the home and evenings at the drive-in theatre.