When Jacob is called back to Advocate, he is not only returning home again, something he knows he cannot really do; he is going to face his dying grandmother and the people of the town who turned on one of their own.
Twenty years earlier, when his uncle David came home, it was to die. The response in Advocate was typical of most towns, large and small, in 1984: when his disease became known, Jacob, his grandmother, his mother, and his aunt, were shunned, turned out from school and their jobs, out of fear of an until-then unknown virus.
Like To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel beloved of one of the main characters, Advocate is elegiac, written by a first-rate author, about overcoming ignorance and prejudice. With wit and emotional depth, Greer describes the formation of one boy’s social conscience and takes us to a resolution that is truly satisfying.
“A juicy read, with so much more at stake than a typical family drama … Jacob’s voice and affect are strong and consistent. Greer patiently elaborates on guilt, regret, and the possibility of forgiveness. And at this, he is wholly successful.” Starred review
“A sunshine sketch of a little town? Not remotely. A heartfelt, searing, and sad — and wholly captivating — portrait of one town’s fear, ignorance, and anger? Yes, and then some … A superbly-composed lament, Advocate rails against small-minded values and dares to ponder why we’re capable of so much and yet often wind up doing so little.”
“A deeply moving novel.”
“One fine novel from a Novia Scotia writer who just gets better, book by book.”