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Sweetland

Written by: Michael Crummey
Narrated by: David Ferry
Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning, best-selling author of Galore comes another unforgettable novel. By turns darkly comic and heartbreakingly sad, Sweetland is a deeply suspenseful story about one man's struggles against the forces of nature and the ruins of memory.  

For 12 generations, when the fish were plentiful and when they all but disappeared, the inhabitants of this remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement, and each has been offered a generous compensation package to leave. But the money is offered with a proviso: everyone has to go; the government won't be responsible for one crazy coot who chooses to stay alone on an island.

That coot is Moses Sweetland. Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, haunted by memories of the short and lonely time he spent away from his home as a younger man, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses refuses to leave. But in the face of determined, sometimes violent, opposition from his family and his friends, Sweetland is eventually swayed to sign on to the government's plan. Then a tragic accident prompts him to fake his own death and stay on the deserted island. As he manages a desperately diminishing food supply, and battles against the ravages of weather, Sweetland finds himself in the company of the vibrant ghosts of the former islanders, whose porch lights still seem to turn on at night.

©2019 Michael Crummey (P)2019 Doubleday Canada

What the critics say

"Seductive, supple and haunting.... Sweetland is a wistful eulogy for a dying way of life." (Toronto Star)

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heart sang and broke at the same time

I grew up in outport Newfoundland, and this book brought back so many memories and emotions, all the while grieving for a culture lost.

I feel it was deadly accurate.

Read it for a book club with all members except me being "Come From Aways" - they didn't get it. I, however, felt I was on a magic carpet ride back in time. Thank you M. Crummy for transporting me back home, out of my Toronto life, even if it was for only 9 hours of listening.

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  • 2020-02-16

Best read of 2020 ...so far! 🙂

Thoroughly enjoyed the homey characters and their love (and hate) for each other in their small seaside community.