Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, Caribbean & Canada and the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award; Finalist for the Governor Generals Literary Award for Fiction, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Book Award, and the Winterset Award.
When a whale beaches itself on the shore of the remote coastal town of Paradise Deep, the last thing any of the townspeople expect to find inside it is a man, silent and reeking of fish, but remarkably alive. The discovery of this mysterious person, soon christened Judah, sets the town scrambling for answers as its most prominent citizens weigh in on whether he is man or beast, blessing or curse, miracle or demon. Though Judah is a shocking addition, the town of Paradise Deep is already full of unusual characters. King-me Sellers, self-appointed patriarch, has it in for an inscrutable woman known only as Devines Widow, with whom he has a decades-old feud. Her granddaughter, Mary Tryphena, is just a child when Judah washes ashore, but finds herself tied to him all her life in ways she never expects. Galore is the story of the saga that develops between these families, full of bitterness and love, spanning two centuries.
With Paradise Deep, award-winning novelist Michael Crummey imagines a realm where the line between the everyday and the otherworldly is impossible to discern. Sprawling and intimate, stark and fantastical, Galore is a novel about the power of stories to shape and sustain us.
He ended his time on the shore in a makeshift asylum cell, shut away with the profligate stink of fish that clung to him all his days. The Great White. St. Jude of the Lost Cause. Sea Orphan. He seemed more or less content there, gnawing at the walls with a nail. Mary Tryphena Devine brought him bread and dried capelin that he left to gather bluebottles and mould on the floor.
If you arent going to eat, she said, at least have the decency to die.
Mary Tryphena was a child when she first laid eyes on the man, a lifetime past. End of April and the ice just gone from the bay. Most of the shores meagre populationthe Irish and West Country English and the bushborns of uncertain provenancewere camped on the grey sand, waiting to butcher a whale that had beached itself in the shallows on the feast day of St. Mark. This during a time of scarcity when the ocean was barren and gardens went to rot in the relentless rain and each winter ...
To begin reading Galore is to be invited into an epic novel of historical fiction that will compel you forward as you are overtaken by beautiful storytelling and fantastical events. For those who love to escape into their reading, this book will serve you well as it offers a true, unputdownable distraction from the reality of our more regular and everyday lives.
(Reviewed by Jennifer Dawson Oakes).
Full Review (1059 words).
Two vivid and lively scenes in Galore reflect the occasion of mummers performing house-visits in the fictional outport community of Paradise Deep, Newfoundland. The practice of mumming (also known as mummering or janneying) in Newfoundland originated with the early immigrants from Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Mumming is based within the traditions of folk drama and masquerading and often occurs on the last night of the Twelve Days of Christmas (January 5th). There are several different types of mumming: house visits, the parade of mummers and the mummers play.
In a typical house visit, mummers don disguises created from old clothes, rags and pillow cases to hide their identity, with men often ...
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