Small Reckonings


By Karin Melberg Schwier

cover image of Small Reckonings

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John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award, 2019

Saskatoon Award, 2021 Saskatchewan Book Awards

Glengarry Book Award Jury Short List, Recognition of Literary Excellence, 2021

In the early 20th century, as homesteaders in Saskatchewan are scratching out hard new lives on the Canadian prairie, William, an adventurer from New Zealand, brings his new bride, Louise, to the freshly broken earth of his farm near Watrous.

Physical and emotional isolation take their toll on everyone struggling to survive in the harsh landscape, and when William and Louise's second child, Violet, is born "feebleminded," it plunges Louise-a woman burdened with a dark secret-back into a time of shame and regret, even as the child draws out goodness and loyalty from her neighbours, Hank and Emily.

Then tragedy upends the family, and William, while struggling to raise and protect his daughter and find his way to forgiveness, must come to terms with the fact that no one is infallible.

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Small Reckonings