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Fiction Literary

Away from Everywhere

by (author) Chad Pelley

Breakwater Books Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2009
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2009
    List Price

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Brothers Owen and Alex Collins are brought together when mental illness claims their father and sets off a chain reaction of unrelated, heart-breaking events. Both tender and bold in its delivery, Away from Everywhere cuts no corners in telling the story of their crushing childhood, the reasons the brothers become different men, and the unthinkable act of love that tears them apart. Part warped love story, part family tragedy, Away from Everywhere is a heart-stomping pageturner.

About the author

Chad Pelley’s fiction has been recognized by more than a dozen literary awards. His debut novel, Away from Everywhere, was a Coles bestseller, won the NLAC’s CBC Emerging Artist award, and was shortlisted for both the ReLit and CAA Emerging Writer awards, and a film adaptation starring Jason Priestley and Shawn Doyle was filmed in 2015. His second novel, Every Little Thing, was shortlisted for the ReLit Award, and Canada Reads winner Lisa Moore called it “Stylistically fresh and can’t-put-it-down compelling.” He has appeared alongside acclaimed authors at festivals such as IFOA,Vancouver Writers’ Festival, and Writers at Woody Point. His short fiction has won several awards, and has been published in anthologies, textbooks, and journals. He’s taught creative writing at Memorial University, founded Salty, and has written for Quill & Quire, The National Post, Globe and Mail, the Telegraph-Journal, and Atlantic Books Today. He is currently the founding editor of The Overcast: Newfoundland’s Alternative Newspaper.

Chad Pelley's profile page


  • Short-listed, The Canadian Authors Association Award for BookLand Emerging Author of the Year
  • Winner, The Newfoundland and Labrador Emerging Artist of the Year Award
  • Short-listed, The ReLit Award

Editorial Reviews

"This emotionally wrenching story made me cry. It also made me lament not having written it. His writing is both articulate and lyrical A fascinating and tender portrait of a soul in torment." - M.T. Dohaney, award-winning author of The Corrigan Women

"Gripping from page one, Away from Everywhere is a finely crafted novel from one of the most talented young writers to come out of Newfoundland in recent years." - Kenneth J. Harvey, Internationally bestselling author of Inside and Blackstrap Hawco

"Complex themes woven tightly together this is a story about brothers, a story of families, entwined and unbound. It is a story of longing, and romance. And it is a story of consequence. There is a streamlined dynamic to the structure and the prose, as riveting and inevitible as a car flying off the wet highway. And the structure is tightly built as a racecar chasis. [A] very good book." - Joan Sullivan, The Telegram

"Brilliantly crafted through thought provoking sentence structure Away from Everywhere will make any reader believe they are one with what they are reading [a] masterpiece." - Ivana Pelisek, Interoobang

"The best quality of the whole novel is the detail brought to the individual scenes. The last forty pages are strong, most successfully conveying the muddled darkness of Owen's world. There is here intelligence, craft, and promise."

Michael Nolan, Newfoundland and Labrador Studies

"It is a book that will continue to call you back to it a book you could read many times over a book that requires a lot of pauses. Pauses to think, reflect, discuss, and most importantly, breathe. Pelley's great talent lies with his descriptions the attention to detail continues throughout the novel. " - Kathleen Spencer, Ryerson Free Press

"With six lifetimes worth of blood, violence, delusion and broken love, this is no redemption story, and will not give you sweet dreams." - Kathleen Winter, award-winning author of boYs

"Award-winning short story scribe Chad Pelley has gone all-out in his first full-length novel Away From Everywhere [a] stunning and somber portrait of the family ties that can both bind us and tear us apart." - Stephen Clare, The Chronicle Herald

"It opens up in the aftermath of a car crash, and does not let up from that brutal, mid-crisis opening. Awayfrom Everywhere is dotted with slamming phones, speeches regretted after-the-fact, and the pain of silences." - Ashley Fitzpatrick, The Telegram

"From word one, a description of a bloody and harrowing car accident, there is such a volume of tragedy in Chad Pelley's ambitious debut novel, it feels dense and weighty, like a Paul Haggis movie script... where the novel succeeds is in expressing Owen's interior pain, his wine-sopping self-destruction not an easy feat. Pelley is a gifted writer who, no doubt, we will hear a lot from in the future." -Sean Flinn, The Coast

"Chad Pelley's first novel explores the nature of mistakes alongside the devastating errors of human choice. What shines from this novel is Pelley's ability to convey his lead character’s pain and inner turmoil; his misery lifts real from the page. We should look forward to the honing and unfolding of this writer’s evolving voice." - Bruce Johnson, Atlantic Books Today

User Reviews

Brilliant Novel and must read!

The description of the book, does not do it justice, as for the most part I was completely engrossed by the book. It was incredibly hard to put down, and once I was finished I was wanting more. The book definitely left and impression with me.

The book was a bit of a dark book and emotional book as it deals with a lot of issues surrounding mental illness. From depression, schizophrenia and substance abuse, the book is a heavy read. But the author has created such realistic, flawed characters, that you can't help but become lost in the book. I also enjoyed how the book was written, it wasn't exactly liner, but it bounced around from the present, to the distant past, and the month leading up to a terrible tragedy. It was a combination of journal entries and memories, but the author did a fantastic job at bring it all together.

Alex was a character, I never liked, I felt bad for the experiences he's faced, but at the end of the day, he was a bit of an selfish ass. But, his character is important, as it does show how everyone in the family deals with the kind of trials a family faces dealing with any kind of mental illness and tragedy and I have to give the author props for writing it in such a realistic way. The other characters were all well done. Owen, for example was a character, you can't pull away from. He's not a character you like, but he's a character you want to keep reading about.

The last few chapters of the book were fantastic and extremely well done. Although I kind of guessed where the author was going, it was still a great twist the author threw in there. I think he handled it very well, and made it seem natural and realistic. It was a fantastic way to end a book, although it left me wanting more, I think it worked out wonderfully.

Overall a fantastic read, which I highly recommend.

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