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The Innocents

Written by: Michael Crummey
Narrated by: Mary Lewis
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (128 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

FINALIST FOR THE 2019 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE 2019 GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD
FINALIST FOR THE 2019 ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE
NATIONAL BEST SELLER
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY
The Globe and Mail • CBC • Toronto Star • Maclean's

"Crummey's novel has the capacity to change the way the reader sees the world." (Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury Citation) 

From best-selling, award-winning author Michael Crummey comes a sweeping, heart-wrenching, deeply immersive novel about a brother and sister alone in a small world.

A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland's northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by the feral ocean, by a relentless pendulum of abundance and murderous scarcity. Still children with only the barest notion of the outside world, they have nothing but the family's boat and the little knowledge passed on haphazardly by their mother and father to keep them. 

As they fight for their own survival through years of meagre catches and storms and ravaging illness, it is their fierce loyalty to each other that motivates and sustains them. But as seasons pass and they wade deeper into the mystery of their own natures, even that loyalty will be tested.

This novel is richly imagined and compulsively readable, a riveting story of hardship and survival, and an unflinching exploration of the bond between brother and sister. By turns electrifying and heartbreaking, it is a testament to the bounty and barbarity of the world, to the wonders and strangeness of our individual selves.

©2019 Michael Crummey (P)2019 Doubleday Canada

What the critics say

"A gripping and credible page-turner about children surviving in the wilderness, but more than that: this Adam and Eve struggle to make sense of a world that's somewhere between Eden and Hell. Michael Crummey writes like an avenging angel, never putting a word wrong."  (Emma Donoghue, author of Room)

"Michael Crummey's The Innocents is a dazzling and myriad achievement. Set against the unforgiving Newfoundland frontier, this harrowing tale of two siblings eking out a teetering existence is difficult to witness and impossible to put down.  But what makes this story timeless is Crummey's rich depiction of the human heart in extremis, the unflagging beat of life in a world that is too much to bear. Set aside whatever you're reading and pick this up - The Innocents is a masterpiece." (Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek)

"Michael Crummey's new novel The Innocents is a fantastic read. Written in graceful and evocative prose, Ada and Evered's story blurs the boundary between the quotidian and the strange until it becomes a meditation on the curious fact of existence itself. A wonderfully provocative and insightful book." (Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds and A Shout in the Ruins)

What members say
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not a fan of the cutoff ending

Narration was outstanding. I wish there was more detail of how it all ended. It is implied but no details given.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Dark and honest portrayal of old Newfoundland

Hard to put down as I gritted my teeth at what would become of Ada and Everett.

1 person found this helpful

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poignant

Great book. 4.5 overall. I enjoyed the imagery and story. Poignant. I was immersed in a landscape and era unfamiliar to me.

1 person found this helpful

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Boring

I love literary novels but this one was extremely boring. The narrator didn’t help the dullness either. I wouldn’t recommend.

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Great storytelling

Loved it and look forward to more of Michael Crummey’s book now. The stories of early Newfoundland are never disappointing.

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Newfoundland in the 1700's

A tale of an orrphaned brother and sister's survival in a distant cove only reachable by sea for supplies annually. Unusual but somewhat predictable as Newfoundland stories go.

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Awesome

Could never have trust that newfy accent. Myself. Well done! Great experience. And good story well told.

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Michael Crummy is the best !

I have really enjoyed reading Michael Crummy’s novels. This is the first I’ve listened to in audio and found both story and narration superb. Can’t wait to look for other work by narrator Mary Lewis.

1 person found this helpful