The year 2000 isn't starting out too well for Toronto high school senior Katherine Boatman. Not only has her oldest friend ditched her for yet another boyfriend, her beloved grandmother died on New Year's Eve leaving a void of goodness in her life that Katherine's not sure how to fill. While overwhelmed with sadness and self-doubt, Katherine unexpectedly finds new love, both for Toronto's underground music scene and for her would-be saviour: a straight edge, loud mouth misfit named Marie. As Katherine seeks comfort in jagged guitars, mind-reading poets and honest conversations, she struggles to figure out not only what she and Marie might mean to each other, but also what it truly means to be good.
Suzanne Sutherland is a Toronto-based writer. Her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and literary journals such as Descant and Steel Bananas, and she is the co-founder of the Toronto Zine Library. When We Were Good is her first book.
"Sutherland is able to capture the confusion and despair in losing your closest friend and the only person who seemed to understand you and still manages to provide an 'it gets better' message...A good addition to LGBTQ offerings."
"There is an abundance of useful and sometimes wonderful images..., quirky humour where one least expects it, and soul wrenching honesty. Katherine is a protagonist who really lives...Highly Recommended."
Finally, the definitive Toronto novel for a new generation of readers. Suzanne Sutherland's When We Were Good is an ode to the city, to music, and to falling in love.
Suzanne Sutherland's debut novel is a stunning, heartbreaking Toronto/punk/lesbian coming-of-age story that will deeply affect everyone who's ever had, y'know, feelings. If you aren't compelled to mark up your hands with X's or start a band after reading this book, you probably never will be.