An emotionally charged masterpiece from a Canadian literary legend.
John Delano is a broken man, seemingly at the end of everything: the end of his legendary but controversial career as a police officer; the end of his sad and difficult marriage; the end of his years-long search for the truth of what happened to his missing son; the end of his fruitless quest for personal redemption; even, perhaps, the end of his life. Only one small thing keeps him going: his conviction that he has a final case to solve, centred around the disappearance years ago of a young boy placed in foster care in Saint John, New Brunswick. Following the delicate and convoluted thread of that case takes John to unexpected places: dangerously close to powerful civil servants hoarding damning secrets; to a Canadian humanitarian mission in Rwanda before and during the genocide; to New York and the compromised corridors of the United Nations; and deep into his own haunted past.
With this new masterwork, David Adams Richards continues to astonish us, weaving familiar themes in fresh new ways. His people are still rooted in his beloved Miramichi region of New Brunswick, but his storytelling--as always, displaying his genius for plot and his extraordinary empathy for his flawed characters--has expanded to encompass the much wider world that his people traverse: the politically charged, intricately connected modern universe in all its richness, contradiction, devastation and little points of hope. In the end, what ties John Delano to every other unforgettable character in this compelling work is the shared search for principles to live by: as each person decides what those principles shall be, their fates inevitably and heartbreakingly intertwine.
DAVID ADAMS RICHARDS is one of Canada's preeminent writers. His recent novels Crimes Against My Brother and Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul were longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and published to wide acclaim. Among his other recent novels, The Lost Highway was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award and nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Friends of Meagre Fortune won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book. Mercy Among the Children won the Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Trillium Award. Richards is also the author of the celebrated Miramichi Triology and has written four bestselling books of nonfiction: Lines on the Water, God Is, Facing the Hunter and Hockey Dreams.
"Richards continues his career-long inquiry into the nature of morality. . . . Delano is a powerfully drawn, devastatingly flawed central character. . . . There is a powerful story here, written with Richards' usual attention to detail and his wholly original approach to both prose and narrative, with a powerfully evoked, deeply flawed main character." —The Vancouver Sun
"Principles to Live By demands that we look. Its descriptions are often staggeringly beautiful. . . . No one does the banality of evil quite like Richards. . . . A powerful, mysterious narrative engine." —The Globe and Mail
"The man who lives without principles is a pitiable beast. The question is: what principles should we live by? . . . The novel is not so much a conventional crime novel as it is a devil's comedy with God and His saints having the last word.. . . . I like the author's outspokenness, his bracing and fearless facing of the reader, eyeball to eyeball." —National Post