As the deeply moving and troubling account of a family's breakdown, A Reckoning is the perfect companion to Linda Spalding's bestselling, award-winning novel, The Purchase.
It opens in the spring of 1855, when John Dickinson is involved in a shameful secret that will require a tragic decision. The family's resources have been wasted by a reckless brother who holds all of them hostage and, adding fuel to John's desperation, the enslaved workers have been visited by a Canadian abolitionist who pushes them to escape. Bry does, and his pursuit of freedom will involve a dangerous quest to find his mother and child in Canada.
Meanwhile, the Dickinsons become fugitives of another kind, escaping their losses in a wagon en route to the West that will eventually be loaded onto a Missouri river boat for a dark adventure. Forests and rivers prevail in this story, and each person will be tested, especially thirteen-year-old Martin, whose lonely journey with a pet bear is almost mythic.
Spalding, a Kansas native who lives in Toronto, writes with irresistible force and breathtaking passion. Her language is stunning, her voice unique. A Reckoning confirms her place at the forefront of Canadian literature.
Born and raised in Kansas, LINDA SPALDING immigrated to Canada in 1982 from Hawaii. She is the author of The Purchase, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, and three much earlier novels and two acclaimed works of non-fiction, The Follow, which was shortlisted for The Trillium Book Award and the Pearson Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize; and, most recently, Who Named the Knife. She received the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the Canadian literary community. She lives in Toronto, where she is the editor of Brick magazine. Her website is www.lindaspalding.com.
Praise for A Reckoning:
"A Reckoning is an extraordinary novel. A humane and timely examination of how the societies we create—just or profoundly unjust—set the parameters for the people we become. This is a beautiful and brilliant work of art, vulnerable, driven, and unsettling." —Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Praise for The Purchase:
"The Purchase is an epic novel in every way that matters -- in scope, depth, and heart." —Jury citation, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
"Engrossing. . . . One of the finest historical novels in recent years." —National Post
"Imbued with the power of myth." —Globe and Mail
"A complex and engaging novel . . . Hardy-esque." —Ottawa Citizen