A profoundly moving exploration of our capacity to heal one another.
Ellie and Eric Nyland have moved their two sons back to Eric’s childhood farmhouse, hoping for a fresh start. But there’s no denying it, their family is falling apart, each one of them isolated by private sorrows, stresses, and missed signals. With every passing day, Ellie’s hopes are buried deeper in the harsh winter snows.
When Eric finds Hannah Finch, the girl across the road, wandering alone in the bitter cold, his rusty police instincts kick in, and he soon discovers there are bad things happening in the girl’s house. With nowhere else to send her, the Nylands reluctantly agree to let Hannah stay with them until she can find a new home after the Christmas holidays. But Hannah proves to be more balm than burden, and the Nylands discover that the only thing harder than taking Hannah in may be letting her go.
Fran Kimmel is the author of The Shore Girl, which was named a CBC Top-40 Book and won the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award in 2013. Fran’s short stories have appeared in literary journals from coast to coast and have twice been selected for The Journey Prize Stories anthology. Born and raised in Calgary, Fran now writes and teaches in Lacombe, AB.
“Nuanced characters and attention to detail make what could have been a saccharine story a deeply moving one instead. Highly recommended.” — Booklist
“Kimmel’s novel has only a few characters, but they all possess presence and depth and experience honest changes. The strong sense of place serves as an additional relationship for the characters to negotiate.” — Library Journal Starred Review
“Quietly powerful … In less careful hands, this story could have come across as sentimental or melodramatic; instead, it takes shape as a guardedly hopeful tale of resilience.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Moving … The seemingly mundane scenes — a family dinner, for example — are the most powerful in the story and demonstrate our capacity to heal one another through compassion and kindness.” — Canadian Living
“The humanity in Fran Kimmel’s No Good Asking is as big as the hearts of her arresting characters. In genuine, unaffected prose, this story builds from the first page to its satiating finale. An achingly good story.” — Lee Kvern, author of 7 Ways to Sunday