A poignant new novel that combines humour and heartache, from the brilliant mind of Governor General’s Award finalist Claudia Dey
Fifteen years after falling from a stolen car into a remote northern town, Billie Jean Fontaine is still an outsider. She may follow the stifling rules of this odd place, but no one will forget that she came from elsewhere. When Billie Jean vanishes one cold October night in her bare feet and track suit with only her truck keys, those closest to her begin a frantic search. Her daughter, Pony, a girl struggling against being a teen in the middle of nowhere; her killer dog to whom she cannot tell a lie; her husband, The Heavy, a man haunted by his past; and the charismatic Supernatural, a teenage boy longing only to be average. Each holding a different piece of the puzzle, they must come together to understand the darkest secrets of their beloved, and lay bare the mysteries of the human heart.
With her luminous prose, wry humour and dead-on cultural observations, Claudia Dey has created a storytelling tour de force about what it means to love, no matter the consequences.
“Heartbreaker is a dark star of a book, glittering with mordant humor and astonishing, seductive strangeness and grace. I am a giant fan of Claudia Dey’s wild brain.”
“Behold the virtuosity of Heartbreaker! Claudia Dey has a perfect ear and the sharpest eye. Her portrait of Pony Darlene Fontaine, and the strange world she inhabits, is devastating, unsparing and unforgettable.”
“Heartbreaker makes high and hilarious art from the emotional pop-rocks and glittery junk of a certain way of being young. And vulnerable. Also, it has one of the most awesome dogs in literature. A thrillingly fun and original novel.”
“Imagine a funnier, but more sinister, offspring of Peyton Place and Never Let Me Go, and you approximate the world of this stunning new novel. Claudia Dey’s beautiful, off-kilter music has been missing from our literary landscape for too long — a most welcome return.”
“What a completely thrilling novel! In its story, people, vision, sentences and fervor—in its pure intelligence and unbridled bravery—it stands apart. With Heartbreaker, the literary landscape is forever changed.”
“Devoted, as I am, to the oddities of northern, remote lands, I could not put this book down. In turns, hilarious and harrowing, Heartbreaker’s icy exactitude is direct, disturbed and entirely splendid.”
“I want Van Halen to write the soundtrack and the Coen brothers to make the movie. It plays out as a vivid, tender, complex magic. A totally compulsive, singular and wild read. The people in this book are so alive, and the book itself feels unthinkably new.”
“A mashup of “Stranger Things” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”
“This book is beautiful, a perfect balancing act of dark and light. It broke my heart and then put it back together again.”
“This book gave me chills all the way through...It convinced me that the deepest of human urges is the pull to find one’s true home—which lies in the hearts of just a few others. I floated in the perfection of its ending... I loved its every page.”
“I was kidnapped by this novel. Original, alluring and memorable, Claudia Dey’s Heartbreaker will get under your skin. An electrifying story about buried pasts, dark secrets and dangerous loves that shimmers and sparks.”