Small Reckonings

By Karin Melberg Schwier

Coming soon…

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

“Physical and emotional isolation shape the Burke family story in the 1920s and 1930s, when homesteaders scratched out a new existence on the prairie. William, an adventurer from New Zealand, brings his bride to the freshly broken earth of his farm near Watrous, Saskatchewan. Violet, the child born “feebleminded,” plunges her mother Louise – a woman burdened with a secret – back to a time of guilt and regret. The child draws out goodness and loyalty in her neighbours, Hank and Emily.

“But tragedy upends this family, taking the reader at breakneck speed toward forgiveness and the realization 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

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