Written in luminous prose, The Whirlpool is a haunting tale set in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in the summer of 1889. This is the season of reckless river stunts, a time when the undertaker’s widow is busy with funerals, her days shadowed by her young son’s curious silence. Across the street in Kick’s Hotel, where Fleda and her husband, David McDougal, have temporary rooms, Fleda dreams of the place above the whirlpool where she first encountered the poet, a man who enters her life and, unwittingly, changes everything. As the summer progresses, the lives of these characters become entangled, and darker, more sinister currents gain momentum.
The Whirlpool, Jane Urquhart’s first novel, received Le prix du meilleur livre étranger (Best Foreign Book Award) in France and marked the brilliant debut of a major voice in Canadian fiction.
Jane Urquhart is the author of five internationally acclaimed novels, including The Stone Carvers, a finalist for the 2001 Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award. She is also the author of a collection of short fiction and three books of poetry.
Lynn Coady is the author of the novel Strange Heaven and a collection of short stories, Play the Monster Blind.
“A spell-binder, in the literal sense…Urquhart has brilliantly evoked the texture of a late Victorian summer and created within it a strange, yet entirely believable tale of obsession.”
“A tightrope walk across the marvellous.…In a tour de force of Canadian fiction, she plunges into the mysterious whirlpool of our collective psyches.”
–Canadian Fiction Magazine
“A jewel of a book: its finely polished facets are full of light, yet suggest numerous depths.”
–Globe and Mail
“She is clearly a courageous stylist with a unique vision.”