Set on the shores of modern-day Nova Scotia, two women are stagnated by grief and their own flawed versions of the past. Can the truth set them free?
When Emily and her family move back to Nova Scotia from Calgary, it is a return to the coastal landscape that already haunts her—and the waters where her father died. She meets her neighbour Linda, a gruff but loving widow and Linda's grown son, Tom, who struggles to stay on an even keel. As they settle in, Emily and her husband, Daniel, learn more about the short but turbulent history of the house they've just bought. With Daniel away for work, Emily becomes caught up in the lives of her neighbours, relying on Linda's friendship and growing closer to Tom, despite his unsettling knack for appearing when she least expects him. As the tension in each family builds, both Emily and Linda must confront long-unanswered questions.
With its nuanced depictions of marriage, parenting, grief and mental illness, and humorous, understated dialogue, Davison's debut is at once suspenseful and subtle.
"Memory's siren pull is as comforting and treacherous as the ocean in Nicola Davison's gorgeous debut novel. With striking acuity, In the Wake reveals how people's deepest desires are charged with danger, the bonds between those who love the most often fraught with self-deception. Nothing is ever quite as it appears to Davison's mothers of sons, who cling to their own visions of the past and present in this beautiful rendering of nouveau Nova Scotia." —Carol Bruneau, award-winning author of A Circle on the Surface and A Bird on Every Tree
"In the Wake gathers like a storm wave, throwing the characters forward. Nicola's writing is a lighthouse catching moments of sorrow and joy. Here, mental health is not a hashtag, but broken glass under wounded feet. This novel can deepen you." —Jon Tattrie, award-winning author of seven books, including the novels Black Snow and Limerence
"In the Wake is a subtle, heartfelt meditation on intimacy and the many ways we can lose those we love. Behind the seemingly tranquil backdrop of quotidian, seaside lives, a storm is building. As the novel moves towards its dramatic conclusion, Davison sensitively explores how grief and mental illness reverberate through families and across generations." —Sarah Faber, award-winning author of All is Beauty Now