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Our Homesick Songs

Written by: Emma Hooper
Narrated by: Nicole Power
Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 42.11
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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

From Emma Hooper, acclaimed author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James, a People magazine “Pick of the Week”, comes a “haunting fable about the transformative power of hope” (Booklist, starred review) in a charming and mystical story of a family on the edge of extinction.

Newfoundland, 1992. When all the fish vanish from the waters and the cod industry abruptly collapses, it's not long before the people begin to disappear from the town of Big Running as well. As residents are forced to leave the island in search of work, 10-year-old Finn Connor suddenly finds himself living in a ghost town. There's no school, no friends, and whole rows of houses stand abandoned. And then Finn's parents announce that they, too, must separate if their family is to survive.

But Finn still has his sister, Cora, with whom he counts the dwindling boats on the coast at night, and Mrs. Callaghan, who teaches him the strange and ancient melodies of their native Ireland. That is until his sister disappears, and Finn must find a way of calling home the family and the life he has lost.

©2018 Emma Hooper (P)2018 Penguin Random House Canada

What the critics say

“A lovely homage to Newfoundland culture, a story about storytellers told with a beguiling simplicity. Lovely and lyrical...Hooper’s work brims with mermaids and music and memory, as any good Newfoundland story must, and there is no shortage of eccentric characters.” (Toronto Star)

"True to its title, Our Homesick Songs is filled with music. The lyrical language is met with literal accordions, violins and songs passed through generations, sung by parents and children and even mermaids (a phenomenon in which they all believe). The town is filled with magic, and so is Hooper’s writing. Our Homesick Songs is a eulogy to not just a town but a lifestyle - one built on waves, and winds, and fish, and folklore." (The New York Times)

“[Emma Hooper] has recreated the demise of the fishery on the one hand, and explored the persistence of folk memory on the other.... [She] has constructed such an authentic sense of place from such a distant shore. In Hooper’s hands Newfoundland has become a kind of Narnia, or Never-Never Land, a place that we believe in.” (The Irish Times)

“Shifting from present to past, the story weaves together fables, songs, mystery, and mermaids. Brave and romantic, the Connors’ journey is uniquely nostalgic and magical, illuminated with childhood wonder, ingenuity, and love.” (The Christian Science Monitor)

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