FREE SHIPPING in CANADA for orders over $35
The Gift Child

The Gift Child

340 pages
Published:   March 19, 2024
Fiction  /  Novels
Paperback:   9781773103242    $24.95

How important is truth? What is normal? These are the questions raised in The Gift Child, Elaine McCluskey’s fictional oeuvre — a funny, poignant, sure-shot novel, populated with a community of petty criminals, beloved broadcasters, undercover intelligence agents, and more.

The novel opens with the disappearance of a man in Pollock Passage, Nova Scotia, a man last seen driving away from a government wharf with a giant tuna head in the basket of his Schwinn delivery bicycle. The man’s name is Graham Swim; he’s good at playing the harmonica and making friends.

When Graham’s cousin Harriett decides to investigate his disappearance, she comes up against her own family history. A news photographer now jobless and adrift, Harriett has lived most of her life in the shadow of her larger-than-life father — a once-beloved TV news anchor and borderline narcissist.

When Harriett arrives in Pollock Passage, she meets a stranger who tells her he is researching the Shag Harbour UFO mystery. While this stranger helps Harriett reconnect with pieces of herself she thought long-dead, she also learns that what she knows about her father may not be true.

Vintage McCluskey, The Gift Child showcases McCluskey’s unique ability to capture the malleability of memory and the complex absurdity and nobility of humanity. It’s a novel that’s hard to put down; it’s even harder to forget.
+Show more


Elaine McCluskey is a critically acclaimed fiction writer based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Her 2022 collection Rafael Has Pretty Eyes won the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction. McCluskey’s stories have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Room, and subterrain. The Gift Child is her seventh book of fiction.