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Fiction World War Ii

Land Beyond the Sea

by (author) Kevin Major

Initial publish date
May 2019
World War II, General, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2019
    List Price

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In the small hours of October 14, 1942, a German U-boat sank the passenger ferry SS Caribou in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Of the 237 people on board, 136 perished, including 49 civilians. In Land Beyond the Sea, bestselling author Kevin Major reimagines the events of that fateful night from the perspectives of both those aboard the doomed vessel and the German U-boat commander who gave the order. With his characteristically sharp, evocative prose style, Major delivers an epic work of historical fiction, detailing a life-and-death conflict in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Land Beyond the Sea is a powerful and empathetic testament to the acts of destruction and the acts of heroism carried out in the name of home.

About the author

Governor General Award winner Kevin Major has published 17 books, for both young people and adults. His first, Hold Fast, is considered a classic of Canadian young adult fiction, and was recently released as a feature film. No Man’s Land, about the Newfoundland Regiment in WWI, was published in 1995 to much acclaim. Major’s adaption has been brought to the stage by Rising Tide Theatre for more than a dozen seasons.A history of Newfoundland and Labrador: As Near To Heaven By Sea was a Canadian best-seller and finalist for the Pearson Non-Fiction Prize. Ann and Seamus, a verse novel, was shortlisted for a total of ten awards. It has since been turned into an opera, which has been performed internationally. New Under the Sun, the first in a trilogy of historical novels for adults and called “well written, nuanced, and compelling” by Canadian Literature, was nominated for an Atlantic Book Award.John Moss, writing in “A Reader’s Guide to the Canadian Novel,” has said, “Kevin Major is among the best Canadian writers of his generation. He has established himself as a figure of singular importance in our literature.”

Kevin Major's profile page


  • Winner, Canada Book Award
  • Short-listed, Next Generation INDIE Book Award, Historical Fiction
  • Short-listed, Best Atlantic-Published Book Award

Editorial Reviews

“Seeing the island [of Newfoundland] for the first time, the German [commander, Ulrich Gräf,] is captivated by its coastline and 'lofty cliffs indomitable'; he wants to roam the island with a sketchbook, an appreciation that will likely endear him to Newfoundland readers.”

Canadian Literature

"Meticulously researched and seamlessly blended historical fact and Kevin Major's fiction, Land Beyond the Sea was a great read."

Atlantic Book Reviews

"It's immediately apparent that Major did a lot of research to write this book. His most casual descriptions are strikingly authentic and the focus is wide-ranging. Whether standing on the bridge of the Caribou or peering through the periscope of U-69, the reader is plunged into the surroundings... Land Beyond the Sea is a crackling read that invokes both sympathy and empathy for the people on both sides of the conflict. It's quite an achievement on Major's part."

Downhome Magazine

"[Kevin Major] describes the protagonists of both sides, Germans and allies alike, with great empathy . . . his approach is profoundly humanistic."

in afterword of German translation, "Caribou"

“…a startlingly good feat of historical fiction.”

The Miramichi Reader

Other titles by Kevin Major