by Lesley Crewe
  • from-the-atlantic-canada
  • literary
  • women-s

The story begins with Nell, the “spinster on the hill” near St. Peter’s, Cape Breton. Scarred by her own childhood, she swears she could never love a child and that she will never marry, denying herself a life with the man she loves. She’s proven wrong when a baby is born just down the road from her. Her love of little Jane, despite herself, propels us forward through generations trying to untangle their own traumas and secrets. Eventually, we meet Bridie — joyful, kind, capable Bridie — and see her struggling through the echoing pain of those who came before her. Her choices, her bravery, her “nest of wonderful women”, and her ultimate refusal to settle for anything less than love, eventually redeem her and everyone around her — even the spinster on the hill.

As real as our own family dramas, Beholden is full of Lesley Crewe’s trademark laugh-out-loud moments, heartbreaking losses, incredible women with unbreakable friendships, and the sweet wildness of Cape Breton.


Lesley Crewe, author

Lesley Crewe is the author of several novels, including Mary, Mary, Amazing Grace, Chloe Sparrow, Kin, and Relative Happiness, which has been adapted into a feature film. Previously a columnist and freelance writer, Lesley lives in Homeville, Nova Scotia. Visit her at

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Nimbus Publishing Ltd.



rights sold: Canada

rights available: World

Additional Information

number of pages: 364

publication date: 09/15/2018

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: complete manuscript