"In her haunting debut novel, The Umbrella Mender, Christine Fischer Guy transports us to 1950s Moose Factory, where the beleaguered staff of the local hospital are fighting to stem the tide of tuberculosis among the indigenous peoples of the North. At the heart of the novel is Hazel MacPherson, a promising young nurse who finds herself increasingly drawn to the surrounding wilderness, made manifest in the person of a troubled drifter named Gideon White.
Like her heroine, Fischer Guy is equally at home within the walls of the hospital and without. In language rich with sensual detail, she brings Hazel's dualized experience into sharp focus, evoking the ghostly beauty of an X-ray one moment, the living presence of the Moose River the next.
The Umbrella Mender is a gorgeous book — a moving meditation on human frailty, a sensitive portrait of conflicting cultures brought together in an uneasy truce, and a heartbreaking tale of unsanctioned love."
? Alissa York, author of
About the author
Christine Fischer Guy's fiction has appeared in journals across Canada and has been nominated for the Journey Prize. She reviews for the Globe and Mail, contributes to Ryeberg.com and themillions.com and teaches creative writing at the School for Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto. She is also an award-winning journalist. She has lived and worked in London, England, and now lives in Toronto.
"Fischer Guy writes supple sentences that rarely call attention to themselves. They are as fluid and forceful as the river, uncommonly beautiful." - Ottawa Review of Books
"Fischer Guy's writing is strong, well paced, and evocative. The northern setting is rendered more through the characters' interactions than by excessive detail, which works to the novel's advantage. And the relationships, especially those between Hazel and Ruth, and Hazel and Doctor Lachlan, reinforce this." - Broken Pencil
"The arc of the narrative is a tragic one, and the turn of events shocking and distressing... Guy, fortunately, keeps the reader interested partly because she avoids setting up stereotypical opposites."- National Post