A landmark novel of the Canadian West from one of Canada’s most accomplished writers, author of The Ghost Brush and Fables of Brunswick Avenue
Gateway, Alberta, 1911. The coming of the railroad to the Canadian Rockies has brought a parade of newcomers to the heavenly Bow Valley—climbers, coal miners, artists, scientists, runaway aristocrats and remittance men. Among the latter is the poacher Herbie Wishart, who arrived on a one-way ticket and has reinvented himself as a trail guide and teller of tall tales.
Herbie becomes outfitter for a fossil-hunting expedition headed by a prominent Washington, D.C., archaeologist. Rumours say that the findings of the secrecy-shrouded Hodgson expedition, as it comes to be known, could overturn all previous knowledge about early life forms. Brought along to help in the quarry for the summer are Hodgson’s adult children, mopey Humphrey and the captivating Isabel, with whom Herbie strikes up a campside alliance. But when an early snowstorm hits and trailside grudges come to a head, the expedition mysteriously disappears. The tragedy threatens to stain the Rocky Mountain park’s reputation just as its newly elected government overseers begin to sell the pristine Canadian wilderness to the world. Despite all efforts from that year on to solve, or bury, the mystery, the disappearance will haunt Gateway, and define the futures of Herbie Wishart and his stubbornly female descendants.
The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel is at once sweeping and intimate, and bursting with heart, wit and larger-than-life characters who rival the Rocky Mountain landscape for sheer brio. Katherine Govier proves she is one of Canada’s master storytellers with this new novel, which is a groundbreaking portrait of Western Canada’s past, with all its contradictions and complexities, an intimate story of romance and family, and a tantalizing historical—and prehistorical—mystery.
PRAISE FOR THE GHOST BRUSH
“Lavishly researched and brilliant. . . . Govier astonishes throughout in her ability to write epic themes intimately. . . . Lyrical, absorbing, and intense.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)
About the author
KATHERINE GOVIER’s most recent novel, The Ghost Brush, is about the daughter of the famous Japanese printmaker Hokusai. It was published in the United States as The Printmaker’s Daughter, and in translation in Romania, Spain, Quebec and Japan. Katherine’s novel Creation, about John James Audubon in Labrador, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2003. She won Canada's Marian Engel Award for a woman writer (1997) and the Toronto Book Award (1992). She has twice been shortlisted for Ontario’s Trillium prize. The author of twelve books, Katherine has been instrumental in establishing two innovative writing programs, Writers in Electronic Residence and The Shoe Project, which works to improve the written and spoken English of immigrant women. Katherine travels between Toronto and Canmore, Alberta, in the Rocky Mountains.
Other titles by Katherine Govier
Building on a Literary Identity
Katherine Govier Three-Book Bundle
Fables of Brunswick Ave., Three Views of Crystal Water, and The Ghost Brush -
Half for You and Half for Me
Best-loved Nursery Rhymes and the Stories Behind Them
Hearts of Flame
The Printmaker's Daughter
The Ghost Brush
Three Views Of Crystal Water
Fables Of Brunswick Avenue