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Fiction Coming Of Age

Some People's Children

by (author) Bridget Canning

Breakwater Books Ltd.
Initial publish date
May 2020
Coming of Age, Literary, Small Town & Rural
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price

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Imogene Tubbs has never met her father, and raised by her grandmother, she only sees her mother sporadically. But as she grows older, she learns that many people in her small, rural town believe her father is Cecil Jesso, the local drug dealer—a man both feared and ridiculed. Weaving through a maze of gossip, community, and the complications of family, Some People’s Children is a revealing and liberating novel about the way others look at us and the power of self-discovery.

About the author

Bridget Canning’s debut novel, The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes, was a finalist for the 2017 BMO Winterset Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, and the NL Fiction Award, and was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award. It is currently being adapted to film. Her second novel, Some People’s Children, was a finalist for the 2020 BMO Winterset Award and the Thomas Raddall Award. Bridget holds an MA in creative writing from Memorial University and a Masters of Literacy Education from Mount Saint Vincent University. In 2019, she received the CBC Emerging Artist Award with ArtsNL. She lives in St. John’s, where she writes and teaches.


Bridget Canning's profile page


  • Short-listed, Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Fiction Award
  • Short-listed, Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award
  • Short-listed, A 49th Shelf Editor's Pick
  • Winner, The Miramichi Reader's 'The Very Best!' Book Award, Bronze Medal, Fiction Category
  • Short-listed, BMO Winterset Award

Editorial Reviews

“Bridget Canning’s Imogene Tubbs is as tender and compelling and as vivid a protagonist as you’re ever likely to meet. Some People’s Children is about the age-old struggle against fate, or in this case the chains of DNA, and the redemptive power of unconditional love. Canning writes adolescence and coming-of-age in a stark and wind-riven Newfoundland with startling veracity. Get your hands on this novel as fast as you can. It’s magnificent.”

Lisa Moore, author of February and Caught

"Imogene is afraid and she is afraid to be wrong and she is afraid to learn that she herself may somehow be “wrong.” But she is also fearless, hilarious, and original, which I believe are characteristics one would expect to find high on the list of attributes for loveable, readable, unforgettable protagonists."

Newfoundland Quarterly

Some People’s Children is a fierce, funny, and achingly authentic coming-of-age story about belonging, identity, and the ties that only tangle us up tighter when we try to twist free. Canning’s language is vivid, wry, and candid, delivering characters so genuine you’ll miss hanging out with them long after you’ve read the last page

Leslie Vreyenhoek, author of We All Will Be Received and Ledger of the Open Hand

"I have been searching for a description of this book other than 'coming of age'... I think what is more appropriate here is coming to terms'... Imogene is tough and vulnerable and strong and soft... Bridget Canning has written a richly evocative Maritime story."

Atlantic Book Reviews

"This is, first and foremost, a perfectly-crafted coming-of-age story with the best qualities of that genre: it’s absolutely specific in its detail as to the time, place and experiences of its main character, yet somehow relatable to anyone who is or has been a teenager (so, like, all of us) no matter how different our experiences may have been from Imogene’s. That specificity of detail is what makes Some People’s Children such a delight to read... When a writer can capture that exact cold-plate dinner we’ve all eaten or served so many times in a few vivid words – and also recreate the horror of being picked on by high-school bullies so viscerally it almost gave me flashbacks to my own school years — that’s some brilliant writing right there. Go along with Imogene on her journey — you will not be disappointed."

Trudy J. Morgan-Cole, author of A Roll of the Bones and Most Anything You Please

"Building a fast reputation for crafting rich and layered character development, Canning's Imogene Tubbs succeeds the eponymous heroine Wanda Jaynes [The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes] as yet another soon to be classic lead..."

The Newfoundland Herald

“Canning deftly explores how evolving identities are hampered by the toxic masculinity still prevalent throughout much of the island. She does so while infusing the narrative with tenderness, authenticity, and complexity the likes of which could be rendered only by an author fully immersed in the contradiction of struggling to be whole during times of great fracture. Not since Joel Thomas Hynes’s Down to the Dirt has a Newfoundland coming-of-age novel so relentlessly depicted the taxing challenge of surviving adolescence in rural outports. This darkly comedic novel is one of indignities, epiphanies, and hope.”

Megan Gail Coles, Scotiabank Giller Prize and CBC's Canada Reads finalist

“Canning has written Imogene’s character and conditions with uncanny perception. Imogene’s high school years are conveyed with such authenticity it’s as if Canning scrupulously recorded the life of an actual teenager, warts and all, then vigorously buffed it into the polished prose that comprises the book… Canning’s first release generated all kinds of accolades. Some People’s Children is a more than worthy successor.”

Downhome Magazine

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