Born between the wars on a working-class London street, Harry Miles wins a scholarship and a chance to escape his station, but discovers instead that poetry is what offers him real direction. While searching for more of it he meets Evelyn Hill on the steps of Battersea Library. The two fall in love as the world prepares once again for war, but their capacity to care for each other over the ensuing decades becomes increasingly tested.
Twisting and startling, harrowing and deeply tender, Dear Evelyn explores how two very different people come together to shape and reshape each other over a lifetime. It is a compelling and unconventional love story that will leave its mark on any reader who has ever loved.
Kathy Page’s works include Frankie Styne and the Silver Man; Alphabet, a Governor General’s Award finalist in 2005; and The Story of My Face, long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002. Two of her books, Paradise & Elsewhere, 2014, and The Two of Us, 2016, were nominated for the Giller Prize. Born in the UK, she moved to the West Coast of Canada with her family in 2001, and now divides her time between writing and teaching at Vancouver Island University.
Praise for Dear Evelyn
“quietly hums with emotional charge. The war years, with Harry fighting in North Africa and Evelyn struggling with a young child at home, are especially vivid, but this watchful, empathetic chronicle retains sensitivity through the less obviously eventful decades of home-building and child-rearing....Page's watchful and very British tale remains devoted to both and forgiving to the end. A searching, and touching, depiction of the places where married lives merge and the places where they never do.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“Page charts the emotional shifts that take place over the course of their marriage, from first flush of love to old age, with subtlety and sensitivity.” —Booklist
Praise for Kathy Page “Page...runs circles around authors who work twice as hard for half the reward... One of the most talented short-story writers working today delivered yet another knockout collection that is both darkly funny and terribly sad.” —Globe and Mail “A moving novel about knowledge, self-awareness and the power of words, set in the purgatory of prison. This young man’s life demands our attention and refuses to let go.” —Kirkus (starred review) “Like children at a sleepover, tucked beneath shared covers, the stories whisper to one another, providing a thematic richness to the book that far outstrips its page count.” —The Walrus “Tight, strange, nifty stories.” —Margaret Atwood “Her fiction is sensuous and verdant, grafting lyrical prose onto stories and situations that appear almost as legends.” —National Post “Page’s prose is vivid and alive, with nary a scrap of throwaway writing to be found.” —Publishers Weekly “Alphabet is not just highly readable, but one of the strongest, most eloquent, most tightly constructed novels of the year…It is a measure of the quiet artistry of Alphabet that, out of material that would have been at home in the blackest of black comedies, Kathy Page has celebrated, with rare deftness, the resilience of the human heart. ” —Sunday Telegraph “A complex book, and splendidly written, Alphabet is an intensely compelling reading experience that speaks to the power of words and the significance of language in all its dangerous subtleties.” —The Edmonton Journal “One of our most daring writers … If you don’t know Page’s work yet, she’s a find.” —Caroline Adderson “Kathy Page is a massive talent.” —Barbara Gowdy “One of the most complex characters I’ve ever met in a novel.” —Victoria Times Colonist “Emotionally resonant, poignant examinations of life and love and – most piercingly – death… Page is a highly skilled miniaturist, capable of pulling off powerful effects by way of simple (though never simplistic) prose and a keen eye for human fallibility and ambiguity.” —Quill & Quire “The Two of Us contains stories about pairs, couples, dyads–mainly intense one-on-one relationships… [and Page’s] duos are all united by a primal desire for intimacy.” —BC Booklook