Now in paperback, the winner of the Chapters/Best First Novel in Canada Award and the corecipient (with Alice Munro) of Canada's prestigious Trillium Award.
Set in the 1950s and '60s, this picaresque novel chronicles the childhood-or perhaps the loss of childhood-of Thomas MacMillan, a Canadian with ties to Trinidad, who pieces together, from memory and from related stories, the early years of his life. Raised in a small town near the U.S. border of Canada, Thomas is abandoned by his mother to the care of an eccentric grandmother. When he reaches the age of ten, his mother, Katarina, reclaims him and takes him to Ottawa, where they live in the Victorian home of Mr. Henry Wing, a magus-like figure whose love of science and the imagination becomes an important legacy for Thomas. But is he Thomas's father? This brilliantly crafted debut novel is a story about love, memory, and the potency of the past.