Deep River Night
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In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Russell Banks, and Annie Proulx, the much-anticipated new novel by the bestselling author of Red Dog, Red Dog is set over the course of 48 hours in a remote sawmill community where violence, complicity, and inaction run deep.
World War Two vet Art Kenning is the alcoholic first-aid man in an isolated sawmill village in the interior of B.C., where he dreads the sound of the five whistles that summon him to the mill floor whenever a worker is hurt. Traumatized by an incident in Holland, when he stood by while members of his unit committed a horrific act, he loses himself in drink, and in memories of the love affair he had with a woman in wartime Paris. But the sad comfort of his self-imposed detachment is shattered when one of the most powerful men at the mill arrives at his door late one evening to ask for his help. What unfolds over the course of that night and following day will force Art to confront acts of evil, both in the present and the past, as well as the tragic consequences of his own inaction.
.Alternating with Art's story are the stories of Joel, a teenaged runaway who owes his life to Art, Wang Po, the mill's cook and a survivor of the Rape of Nanjing, Alice, a young Indigenous girl sold from a residential school, and, Cliff, a Metis man with a hidden past. These lives, and more, intertwine to reveal a complex, morally ambiguous community where the undercurrents of violence and complicity are never far from the surface.
Writing with exquisite precision and emotional force, Patrick Lane gives us a novel whose darkness is fractured by moments of light. Deep River Night is a riveting story about the burden of bearing witness to a terrible crime.