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Fiction Literary

Saltwater Cowboys

by (author) Dayle Furlong

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2015
Literary, Family Life, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2015
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2015
    List Price

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After generations of prosperity in the mining town of Brighton, Newfoundland, Jack and Angela McCarthy find themselves jobless. In order to keep his family together, Jack accepts a job in a gold mine in the wilds of northern Alberta.


Arriving in Foxville, the McCarthys find themselves resented, bullied, and cast as outsiders. When Jack’s best friend, Peter, is swindled out of his savings and resorts to stealing from the mine, his attempts at reversing their fortunes thrust both families into even deeper torment.

A powerful, poetic novel dealing with the effects of poverty, the harshness and beauty of Canada’s north, the perils of theft, and the timeless value of community and family among displaced Newfoundlanders, Saltwater Cowboys is a classic cautionary tale that presents a stark glimpse into the lives of families struggling to survive in unfamiliar terrain.

About the author

Dayle Furlong is the author of the novel Saltwater Cowboys, a 2015 Toronto Public Library Dewey Diva Pick, and a collection of poetry entitled Open Slowly. Her short-fiction has appeared in The Great Lakes Review, The Puritan and The Saturday Evening Post. Her fiction has been awarded an Award of Merit from the Summer Literary Seminars international literary competition and was a finalist for the 2018 Curt Johnson Memorial Prose Award in the USA. She is a graduate of the Humber College School for Writers and has a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Dayle Furlong's profile page


  • Commended, Dewey Diva Picks

Editorial Reviews

Although mainly set in the 1980s, the “Saltwater Cowboys” storyline remains more contemporary and timely than ever.

The Telegram

Furlong makes us feel the bite of barely thwarted poverty and the mounting inevitability that at least one of her characters will be tempted by the lure of easy money. An astute observer of the intimacies of marriage, she knows her men and women inside and out, the ways they misjudge themselves and each other, and, however misguided, try to provide comfort and hope. Saltwater Cowboys is an insightful, unmistakably Canadian novel with a social conscience.

Diana Fitzgerald Bryden, author of No Place Strange

Furlong is very good at conveying the isolation and loneliness the main characters feel.

Downhome Magazine

[Furlong] has an eye for the natural world and a talent for probing the emotional dimensions of physical sensation.

National Post

User Reviews

Not What I Expected

This book was really interesting, powerful and thought provoking.

Really felt like I was there in Foxville, Alberta with the McCarthys and I felt their struggle. I even longed to be back in Newfoundland (even though I'm from Ontario).

Other titles by Dayle Furlong