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Fiction Family Life

Pebble & Dove

A Novel

by (author) Amy Jones

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
May 2023
Family Life, Contemporary Women, Animals
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

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Named a Best Book of the Year So Far by In the tradition of Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!, a once-famous but now-abandoned aquarium-in-a-ship in Florida is the captivating backdrop for a novel of family secrets and dysfunction, and the ways in which it can sometimes take an animal to remind us how to be human.

This is the story of a family falling apart, only to be brought back together again by an unlikely champion—a 1,000-pound aquatic mammal named Pebble.

Lauren’s life is a mess. She has a storage unit full of candles she can’t sell, a growing mountain of debt, and a teenage daughter, Dove, who barely speaks to her. Then her husband sends her a text that changes everything. Eager to escape her problems, she drives herself and Dove south to her late mother’s rundown trailer in Florida. While keeping her eccentric new neighbours at Swaying Palms at bay, Lauren begins to untangle the truth about her estranged mother. How did world-famous portrait photographer Imogen Starr end up at Swaying Palms?And what happened to her fortune and her photographs?

Meanwhile, Dove has secrets of her own. A mysterious photograph leads her to discover the abandoned Flamingo Key Aquarium and Tackle, where she meets Pebble, the world’s oldest manatee in captivity. It is Pebble, a former star attraction, and her devoted caretaker, Ray, who will hold the key to helping Lauren and Dove come to terms with Imogen’s unexpected legacy.

Darkly funny and sharply observed, Pebble & Dove is a moving novel about the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters, and learning how to choose between what’s worth saving and what needs to be let go.

About the author

Originally from Halifax, Amy Jones is a graduate of the Optional Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at UBC. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in several Canadian publications, including The New Quarterly, Grain, Prairie Fire, Event, Room of One’s Own, The Antigonish Review, and 08: Best Canadian Stories. In 2006, she was the winner of the CBC Literary Award for Short Story in English, and she won the 2008 Metcalf-Rooke Award. Amy currently lives in Toronto

Amy Jones' profile page

Editorial Reviews

“I always know that an Amy Jones novel is going to make me laugh, and be insightful and affecting in the best ways possible. Pebble & Dove is no exception—a lush, cinematic portrayal of unconventional motherhood and the fraying connections between generations. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Zoe Whittall, author of The Spectacular

Pebble & Dove is a tender examination of family and loneliness, and how discovering your purpose and finding your people can be utterly transformative. Amy Jones is a masterful storyteller, writing imperfect characters perfectly. Pebble and her humans are going to live in my imagination for a long time.”
—Bianca Marais, author of The Witches of Moonshyne Manor

“Tangled histories, family secrets, a kitschy backdrop, one spectacular marine mammal, and so much lovePebble & Dove has everything, including crackling prose and an unforgettable story that will grab your heart. This is Amy Jones’s best novel yet, and I could not have loved it more.”
—Kerry Clare, author of Asking for a Friend
“A rollicking read. . . . Jones’ fast-paced narrative presents an endearingly looney cast of characters. . . . As we bid goodbye to Jones’ vividly imagined creatures, their weirdly endearing humanity lingers in our minds long after the final page.”
Toronto Star
“A story built around the generational relationships of women and the choices they make in attempting to right the wrongs of their mothers. . . . As in her earlier novels, Jones shows a particular mastery for setting a scene, bringing a Florida trailer park for retirees so vividly to life that the reader can feel the humidity, hear the cicadas. . . . A perceptive examination of generational miscues and a meditation on captivity in both animal and human relationships.”
Winnipeg Free Press

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