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This Bright Dust

This Bright Dust

242 pages
Published:   September 3, 2024
Fiction  /  Novels  /  Historical Fiction
Paperback:   9781773104164    $25.00

From the author of Harper’s Bazaar Hottest Breakout Novel comes a multi-layered, emotionally resonant story.

In 1939, as the Great Depression winds down and war in Europe looms, the small Prairie community of Grayley is all but abandoned. Abel Dodds paces his family’s plot, searching for gold his late father buried in an undisclosed location. When his neighbour Jake Wishart drops by to tell Abel he’s leaving town and to ask if Abel can keep an eye on his sister, Una, and her son and grandfather, Abel reluctantly agrees.

Abel and the Wisharts prepare for the growing season — their last chance to make a living on their debt-burdened farms. When they hear the news of a visit from the king and queen to rally troops, tensions rise. With little food on their tables and a land turned to dust, the unfailingly optimistic Una is convinced that the royal tour will change their lives for the better. But Abel wants a reckoning.

In this lyrical novel, Nina Berkhout artfully brings into focus a story of hope and disillusionment, of disaster and the cultivation of joy, of the relationship between people and the land they inhabit.
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Nina Berkhout is the author of three previous novels, most recently Why Birds Sing, which was described as a “must read” by the Globe and Mail and “not to be missed” by the Ottawa Citizen, a Best Book of the Year (Canada) by Audible, and a Great Group Reads selection by the Women’s National Book Association (USA). Her young adult novel The Mosaic was nominated for the White Pine Award and the Ottawa Book Awards and named an Indigo Best Teen Book, and her novel The Gallery of Lost Species was named an Indigo and Kobo Best Book and a Harper’s Bazaar Hottest Breakout Novel. Berkhout is also the author of five poetry collections, including Elseworlds, which won the Archibald Lampman Award. A recent finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards, her poems have been featured in publications across Canada including Best Canadian Poetry 2024. Originally from Calgary, she lives in Ottawa. This Bright Dust is Berkhout’s fourth novel.