Book - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"What happens when a father disappears? How are the empty spaces of an absence filled? In 1979, Otto Sinclair flees in the wake of a tragic fire, leaving his family to sort through the ashes. Twenty-eight years later, he comes back to them: his wife Lenore, a kept woman in mourning with a box of memories in the trunk of her car; his daughter Ruby, who peoples her world with the imaginary and the unattainable; his son Gavin, confined in a prison of his own creation; and the ghost of his mother, dead on the third floor of the house he burned down. A single act of desperation can echo for decades. Now, a wounded family struggles to answer one final question: is it possible to forgive when it's impossible to forget?"--Back cover.
Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : Penguin Canada, c2009
ISBN: 9780143169840
Characteristics: 280 p. ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Author is a talented and skillful writer. The story proceeds well with interesting weaving of perspective from different characters at different times of their lives. My frustration with the novel was the stupidity and hubris of the adult children who ruin their lives because of father's absence. They were well parented by mother and step-father. The tragedy is that no one recognise the heroism of Barrett the doctor/step father. Even is ailing wife Rena (with MS) won't let him prepare for a time when she will die and he must get on with his life. Lenore too is an inadequate mother because she was poorly parented. So the story is a tragedy because the charcharters could not distance themselves from their childhoods and grow up.

Dec 08, 2010

Though I woudn't like it. Ended up haunted. Lovely writing, page turning

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top