George and Catherine Stewart share not only the burden of Catherine's heart disease, which could cause her death at any time, but the memory of Jerome Martell, her first husband and George's closest friend. Martel, a brilliant doctor passionately concerned with social justice, is presumed to have died in a Nazi prison camp. His sudden return to Montreal precipitates the central crisis of the novel. Hugh MacLennan takes the reader into the lives of his three characters and back into the world of Montreal in the thirties, when politics could send an idealist across the world to Spain, France, Auschwitz, Russia, and China before his return home.
About the author
Born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Hugh MacLennan (1907-1990) taught at McGill University from 1951 to 1981 and wrote novels and essays that helped define Canadian literature. His novels include Barometer Rising (1941), Two Solitudes (1945), Each Man's Son (1951), The Watch That Ends the Night (1959), Return of the Sphinx (1967), and Voices in Time (1980). He also published several nonfiction works, including Cross Country (1949), Thirty and Three (1955), The Scotchman’s Return and Other Essays (1960), and The Colour of Canada (1967).