Thirty-three-year-old Edy has been living in a psychiatric institution for the past twenty years. When she receives a postcard from her childhood friend Isabella, it triggers fragmented memories of their one summer together in Seabury, Nova Scotia — the summer that changed everything.
A hyper-sensitive, highly intelligent, extremely introverted child, Edy is taken by her father, Jonathan, to his hometown. For decades Jonathan has avoided Seabury, a town infused with memories of his teenage sister’s tragic death — a death he refuses to discuss. But he is convinced by his childhood friend Richard, a powerful and charismatic politician, to come home and to bring his daughter with him. Edy is befriended by Richard’s daughter, the beautiful and mesmerizing Isabella. As Edy and Isabella’s friendship deepens over the course of the summer, the town’s dark secrets begin to emerge, leaving no one untouched.
In Sisters of Solitude, Christy Ann Conlin has written a riveting, lyrical novel about the innocence of childhood friendship, the vulnerability and resilience of girls and women, buried family secrets, and the dark and disturbing undercurrents of a small town.
CHRISTY ANN CONLIN is the author of two acclaimed novels, Heave and The Memento. Heave was a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and the Dartmouth Book Award. Her short stories have been published in numerous literary journals, long listed for both the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the American Short Fiction Prize, and appeared in the anthology Best Canadian Stories. She lives in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia.
Praise for Christy Ann Conlin and Memento:
“Nothing short of dazzling. . . . The dizzying speed of revelation produces, in its masterly way, the effect of what T. S. Eliot calls ‘genuine poetry.’” — Toronto Review of Books
“The Memento is a classic spine-tingler, centering on a haunted house and children hovering between evil and innocence, power and vulnerability. . . . Conlin’s novel lingers on relationships between children and servants, children and their (often absent) parents, and elderly relatives – all within the span of one sultry, sordid summer.” — Globe and Mail
“The Memento is a novel of the uncanny, drawing together a coming of age story with elements of ghost stories, haunted houses, family curses and folk tales. It’s a dizzying feat . . . a masterful accomplishment from a powerful writer.” — Toronto Star
“Expertly weaving gothic elements, maritime superstition and the lingering effects of grief, The Memento is an eerie return to form — ceaselessly tense until the last page.” — The Coast
“Trust in Christy Ann Conlin. Follow the mythic thread she has expertly woven through this rich labyrinth of a novel and you will be transported. This is the work of a master storyteller operating at the height of her craft.” — Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting
“In this exuberant novel, Christy Ann Conlin offers us a grab bag of gothic delights — a creaking groaning mansion, a precocious 12th-born twelve-year-old, tea parties with the dead and an unnerving number of fleeting darting 'somethings' only glimpsed in the corner of your eye. Wildly imaginative.” — Caroline Adderson, author of Ellen in Pieces
Praise for Christy Ann Conlin and Heave:
Globe and Mail “Top 100” Book
Finalist, Amazon.ca First Novel
Finalist, Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award
Finalist, Dartmouth Book Award
“Simply a marvellous book. . . . The writing is fine, smooth and tight. This is an honest tale of family love and hate. . . . Heave is a powerful book. It's hard to believe this author is just beginning. I can't wait to see what she accomplishes next.” — Globe and Mail
“One book I will not be passing on is Nova Scotian writer Christy Ann Conlin’s marvellous first novel Heave. This book prompted a whelp of excitement from me.” —National Post
“Conlin . . . has produced an extraordinary book . . . that won’t soon be forgotten.” —Toronto Star
“Conlin proves herself a keen observer of family life, adept at teasing out the loose ends and following them to uncover the lumps and knots in the fabric.” — Hamilton Spectator
“Highly visual and visceral prose. . . Right from the first line Heave is a crazy ride” —Halifax Daily News