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Fiction Literary


by (author) Beth Follett

Breakwater Books Ltd.
Initial publish date
Mar 2021
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

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When Ydessa Bloom’s husband dies in a Cessna crash in a mid-Ontario lake, she rents a cottage at that lake, without really comprehending why, and stays for three months. There she meets three people who will influence her life dramatically—her landlady, a yoga teacher, and a precocious eight-year-old boy named Henry Rattle.


Years later, at the age of twenty-five and reeling from personal tragedy, Henry seeks Ydessa out once again, and they find themselves alone on the day of the Northeast blackout, drawn into an encounter that will change them both.


In Instructor, Beth Follett magnificently follows the natural tendencies of the human mind to dart and drift, to leap and eddy, creating an utterly compelling narrative at once patient and enthralling. Through grief, wonder, and introspection, Instructor captures the fluidity of the self, carrying readers away in the current of Follett’s inescapable prose.

About the author

Beth Follett is the founder and publisher of Pedlar Press, a Canadian literary house. Her first novel, Tell it Slant (Coach House Books, 2001), a retelling of Djuna Barnes’s 1936 novel Nightwood, met with critical acclaim. Her poetry, prose and nonfiction work have appeared in Brick, Best Canadian Poetry 2019, and elsewhere. She lives in St John’s, NL.


Beth Follett's profile page


  • Runner-up, Foreword INDIES: Literary, Adult Fiction
  • Long-listed, The Miramichi Reader's 'The Very Best!' Book Award, Fiction Category

Editorial Reviews

"Instructor is a beautiful, powerful novel about loss, imperfection, and finding wonder in the present moment. On the surface it's about a woman grieving the death of her husband, but as it unfolds the novel delves poetically into metaphysics and metaphor. Instructor is an experience not to be missed, one that will open pathways to stillness and self-reflection."

"Erudite, literate, polished, and inherently engaging, Instructor is a seminal work of deftly crafted literature by an author with a flourishing gift of storytelling that is original and entertaining."

The Midwest Book Review - Library Bookwatch

"[A] prose concurrently lyric and lush and perfectly precise [...] Follett’s prose is remarkable, composed in propulsive sweeps and thoughtful asides, exploring a vast interiority of uncertainty, fragility and the body."

rob mclennan

"An exquisite and compelling exploration of loss, grief, healing and the complexities of love and life. Filled with twists and turns. Tantalizing prose leads you by the hand into the lives of unique characters."

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