Short-listed for the 2016 O'Reilly Insurance and the Co-operators First Book Award
As a long, hot Saskatchewan summer dawns, Darby Swank’s life is forever changed when she finds her beloved aunt floating dead in a lake. All at once her blinders are lifted, and she sees the country lifestyle she’s always known in a whole new way, with hidden pain and anguish lurking behind familiar faces and violence forever threatening to burst forth, like brushfire smouldering and dormant under the muskeg.
With her first novel, Lisa Guenther lays bare familial bonds, secret histories, and the healing potential of art. Friendly Fire recalls the work of Ann-Marie MacDonald and Lynn Coady as it eviscerates small-town platitudes and brings important issues to light.
What the critics say
“Lisa Guenther’s arresting blend of suspense, family drama, and the healing power of music makes Friendly Fire a captivating debut novel." (Theresa Shea, author of The Unfinished Child)
"A well-paced character study with a strong sense of place." (Leo Brent Robillard, Backwater Review)
"Friendly Fire is a remarkably honest and self-critical look at life in rural Saskatchewan." (Tom Ingram, The Winnipeg Review)