John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award, 2019
City of Saskatoon/Saskatoon Public Library 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.
“An intricately-told historical drama set in Depression-era rural Saskatchewan (with) modern connotations broaching our current conversations around trauma, consent, and sexual assault… scenes from Small Reckonings linger, resonate in the mind.” — Hicks Judges Elisabeth de Mariaffi and Rabindranath Maharaj
“This book succeeds so well because the writer’s learned the tricky art of literary balance, ie, as skilled as she is at penning descriptive scenes, they never slow the pacing of this taut novel. The book’s structure is nuanced, and seemingly minor details – like a fishhook caught in an eye – have resonance. The characters are people we know or can very easily imagine…And the plot? Movie potential. “No one was ever purely good. Or purely evil,” Hank thinks. This sums up Melberg Schwier’s sensitive and riveting story. I cried. You might, too.” – Shelley A. Leedahl, SaskBooks Reviews
$9.99 – $24.99
Trade Paperback, EPUB
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