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Fiction Small Town & Rural

The Good Women of Safe Harbour

A Novel

by (author) Bobbi French

Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Small Town & Rural, Contemporary Women, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

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Winner 2023 Newfoundland Reads

Longlisted for the 2023 Dublin Literary Award

Longlisted for the 2023 Leacock Medal Award

Finalist for the 2023 Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction

Finalist for the 2023 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

An unforgettable, life-affirming novel about a woman living on her own terms at last and reclaiming the friendship of a lifetime, for readers of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye and Me Before You

Frances Delaney is staring down the last days of her life. Looking back over her fifty-eight years with wit and no small amount of regret, she sees not the life she wanted but the one that happened. An idyllic childhood in the small Newfoundland fishing town of Safe Harbour was darkened by the loss of her father at sea, an unwanted pregnancy and a betrayal by her closest friend, Annie Malone. Frances and Annie were inseparable, and this rupture rocked Frances to the core. In the aftermath, she fled to St. John’s and a solitary life nothing like what she and Annie had dreamed of as their grand escape. Now, with the help of her young, optimistic friend Edie, Frances begins a journey toward resolution and back to Annie and Safe Harbour. With these good women in her corner, Frances can at last chart her course to living on her own terms, right to the very end.

A powerfully touching celebration of friendship and forgiveness, The Good Women of Safe Harbour is about a woman who finally gives herself a chance to love and be loved. It’s a story that is impossible to read with dry eyes.

About the author

Bobbi French was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. She was a practicing psychiatrist working with children and adolescents until she ran away to France where she lives with her uncommonly patient husband. She now divides her time between eating, writing and grappling with French grammar.

Bobbi French's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"An engaging novel with an unforgettable main character. Frances Delaney has lived a “small” life, but as she responds to a devastating diagnosis, her rich and moving story unfolds. We learn the secrets of Frances’s past and how she makes peace with those secrets, and we also see how that past shaped the woman she has become. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, this is one of the most sensitive fictional portrayals of the end of life that I’ve ever read." --Trudy Morgan-Cole, author of By the Rivers of Brooklyn, Most Anything You Please, A Roll of the Bones, and other Newfoundland historical fiction

"Good Women of Safe Harbour will break your heart and mend it back together again. In this novel, set beside the changeable Newfoundland sea, Frances Delaney reckons with the question of how to make life worth living even as she nears the end of hers. With the help of her long-lost best friend, Annie and the irrepressible teenager, Edie, Frances emerges from a self-imposed loneliness to learn that the only thing that truly endures is the unabiding love they hold for each other. Bobbi French is a master storyteller, as she gently leads us to Frances' final lesson with humour, compassion and grace." — Carrianne Leung, author of That Time I Loved You

"An absolutely soul-comforting meditation on what's possible when there's nothing left to lose. Rich, lively, surprising, warm, and wise, the voice of Frances Delaney won me wholly. I couldn't put this book down, and its message of embodied healing will stay with me. A cathartic and uplifting story about friendship, forgiveness, and healing." — Carrie Snyder, author of Girl Runner

"Bobbi French brings an authentic eye to a tender truth: whatever our woes, it is never too late to lay down what we are carrying. A poignant, deeply arresting, and often funny portrayal of female friendships, even those that get lost, for a time, somewhere along the way." — Christine Higdon, author of The Very Marrow of Our Bones

"Bobbi French has created an unforgettable character in Frances Delaney. Facing the premature end of her solitary life, Frances chooses to die on her own terms, assisted by two good women – her childhood friend Annie, with whom she has recently reconciled, and the savvy teenaged Edie. The final revelation in this deeply moving debut will leave you stunned, satisfied, and reaching for a box of tissues." — Damhnait Monaghan, internationally published author of New Girl in Little Cove

"So vividly imagined, it was as if I carried the characters’ worries and hopes in my own heart. Set in an unforgettable landscape, brimming with insights, Bobbi French’s warm, honest prose makes even the most tragic secrets and events shimmer and lift." — Kelly Simmons, international selling author of six novels, including One More Day

"In turns moving and funny, The Good Women of Safe Harbour is a heartfelt story of a woman who is determined to live what life she has left as if it is only beginning. Whether for the tears or laughter, you’ll want to keep a Kleenex box handy for this one. In lyrical prose and with a character voice that sings, Bobbi French offers a story that’s all about forgiveness and the power of friendship between women. But this novel is also a call to reawaken the wonder found in the everyday world all around us. As Frances Delaney swims through her memories and surfaces reborn, she learns to make even the smallest experience count in her final days. In sharing that journey with her, you’ll feel more alive and so much more here, in this precious, shining moment. This novel is a reminder to pay attention as we move through our day, to phone a friend or sister, to find connection and touch and meaning in our ordinary routines. Because life is made of these moments." — Gail Anderson-Dargatz, author of The Almost Wife

"The Good Women of Safe Harbour lets you meet Frances Delaney gently, almost formally. That's a kindness. None of that prepares you for a book that, as it quickly reaches take-off speed, quite simply won't let you go."
Russell Wangersky, author of The Path of Most Resistance

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