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Fiction Literary

Glass Boys

A novel

by (author) Nicole Lundrigan

Douglas & McIntyre
Initial publish date
Jun 2011
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2011
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2011
    List Price

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With vivid and unflinching prose, Nicole Lundrigan has created a suspenseful and deeply human saga of the persistence of evil and the astonishing power of love.


When Roy Trench is killed in a drunken prank gone wrong, his brother Lewis sees blood on the hands of the man responsible: the abusive alcoholic, Eli Fagan. Though the courts rule the death an accident, the event opens a seam of hate between the two families of Knife's Point, Newfoundland.


Desperate to smother the painful past with love, Lewis marries Wilda, and the pleasure he takes in their two children -- Melvin and Toby -- recalls the happier days of his childhood with Roy. But as he watches his small family fracture, the darkness of the past begins to cloud the present, leading Lewis back to Eli Fagan -- and his watchful stepson, Garrett Glass.


In the style of Newfoundland literature, established by Michael Crummey and Lisa Moore, Glass Boys is the haunting story of an unforgivable crime that brings two families to the brink.

About the author

Nicole grew up in Upper Gul­lies, New­found­land, with her five sib­lings and par­ents, John and Nancy Lun­dri­gan. She attended Queen Eliz­a­beth Regional High School in nearby Fox­trap. Dur­ing her final year at QERHS, she enjoyed a semes­ter of school in Amiens, France where she lived with a Baron and Baroness in the Chateau de Prouzel.

After high school, Nicole moved to Fred­er­ic­ton, and earned a BSc from the Uni­ver­sity of New Brunswick. The sum­mer after grad­u­a­tion, she resided in the small com­mu­nity of Morawhanna, Guyana, where she helped to rebuild a school­house, vol­un­teered with a doc­tor bring­ing health­care to remote vil­lages, and assisted in a sea tur­tle con­ser­va­tion pro­gram on Shell Beach. Upon return­ing to Canada, Nicole attended Saint Mary’s Uni­ver­sity (Hal­i­fax) and received a BA (hon­ours) in anthro­pol­ogy. Dur­ing her time in Hal­i­fax, she worked on an archae­o­log­i­cal dig which involved the removal and analy­sis of skele­tal remains beneath the Lit­tle Dutch Church. In 1996, she moved to Ontario, and com­pleted an MSc from the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto with a focus on phys­i­cal anthro­pol­ogy. Her main area of inter­est was under­stand­ing the con­di­tions affect­ing the degra­da­tion of DNA in post­mortem skele­tal remains.

Shortly after grad­u­a­tion, she began free­lance writ­ing and her work has appeared in a vari­ety of pub­li­ca­tions, includ­ing Reader’s Digest, Moth­er­ing: The Nat­ural Fam­ily Liv­ing Mag­a­zine, Law and Order: Police Man­age­ment, and the Hal­i­fax Daily Her­ald. She is the author of four nov­els: Unrav­el­ing Arva, Thaw, The Seary Line, and Glass Boys. Her lit­er­ary fic­tion has been selected as a top ten pick by Canada’s national news­pa­per the Globe and Mail, was long-listed for the Relit Award, and given hon­ourable men­tion for the Sun­burst Award.

She resides in Ontario with her hus­band and three children.


Nicole Lundrigan's profile page


  • Long-listed, ReLit Award

Editorial Reviews

"Glass Boys, will...catapult Lundrigan into the spotlight...Her writing is so enthralling, and the story so full of suspense and interest, that there is a temptation to allow the pages to fly by when they really should be savoured...Comparisons to other Newfoundland authors are inevitable, and while Lundrigan's writing draws on themes of hardship, difficult family relationships, and abuse that will be familiar to readers of Michael Winter and Lisa Moore, her voice is strong enough to stand on its own. Perhaps, with her latest effort, she will finally earn the right to have up-and-comers compared to her."

Quill & Quire

"Lundrigan fearlessly probes the depths humans can sink to, but she manages, too, to find lots of light...The author has a gift for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary -- in a neighbour's kindness, for example, or in the comforting confines of a vintage store. And the prose is gorgeously vivid. This is Lundrigan's fourth novel, and she's at the peak of her powers. Glass Boys is a gripping story, told with immense skill and unblinking honesty."

NOW Toronto

"At its heart, Glass Boys -- a great title -- Is a story as old as the oldest stories. It's the battle between good and evil, and also a tribute to the amazing power of love."

Atlantic Books Today

"Glass Boys is a dark story and it carries a consistently weighty tone, yet the novel is laced with enough funny and tender moments between characters to spare it from being heavy or maudlin. It�s essentially a reflection on the power of relationships -- spousal, sibling, parent-child -- in shaping a person�s life, and the effect on our core when those bonds are broken...Lundrigan's a great Newfoundland novelist everyone in the country should know -- if not by now, then certainly after reading Glass Boys."

National Post

"With the release of Glass Boys, [Nicole Lundrigan will] finally be crowned one of the great contemporary Newfoundland novelists. "

Salty Ink

"Lundrigan writes about Newfoundland the way William Faulkner wrote about the American south."

The Western Star

"Lundigran's characters are fully alive -- nuanced and flawed -- drawing readers into their plight in this rich, evocative novel."

Publishers Weekly

"beautifully told...Lundrigan's timing and ability to depict the evolution of the characters is exquisite, and her style is impressive. Each sentence is as carefully crafted as a line in poetry."

Canadian Literature

"[The Glass Boys] deftly walks the line between light and dark, hope and fear, rewarding the reader every step of the way with dazzling honesty and truth."

Ami McKay, Author of "The Birth House"

"Lundrigan is a generous writer, able to colour with many shades of grey, and tenderly allowing character to be a work in progress...By the end of Glass Boys, a delicate study of despair and yearning, Lundrigan's kindness and skill have led us to hope that (almost) every character -- bad, good or ambiguous -- feels safe enough to stay."

Globe & Mail

"This is a darkly atmospheric work examining the lasting power of love, loyalty, and family secrets. Readers who enjoy Annie Proulx and Kent Haruf will find similar themes in Lundrigan's work. A pitch-perfect novel with a writing style that shifts as easily as the characters' moods, Glass Boys is a triumph."


"Glass Boys is nothing short of a family epic. Evoking rural Newfoundland with a gritty grace that is all her own...Lundrigan intimately explores the unbreakable ties between us, weaving a tale of filthy beauty that never abandons its quest for love and rejuvenation. At once remarkably touching and disturbing, Glass Boys is an Atlantic saga, leaving behind traces of salt on the skin, and a familiar pang in the heart for anyone who has ever felt lost in the most familiar woods."

Arts East

"Glass Boys is a suspenseful saga that explores themes of hardship and family relationships in an isolated village. It is rendered with haunting honesty and detail, right down to the outport Newfoundland dialect...Driven by deft plotting and vivid imagery...Lundrigan is expert at rendering minute but revealing detail about her characters and has a talent for conveying the inner world of young boys -- a world infused with real and imagined significance, where a toad or a jar or a roll of carpet can eclipse almost everything else...Lundrigan describes her characters with such thoroughness that the reader senses even the most the unforgivable could be understood with enough context."

Winnipeg Free Press

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