Dazzle Pattern

Dazzle Pattern

by Alison Watt
  • debut
  • english-from-canada
  • from-british-columbia
  • historical
  • literary

Beginning the day of the devastating Halifax Explosion of 1917, Dazzle Patterns is an unforgettable story about resilience, the power of art, and the casualties of war. Halifax, 1917. Clare Holmes, a flaw checker at the local glassworks, is saving up for passage to England, to work for the Red Cross and be near her fiancé, Leo, who is fighting in France. But one normal Thursday morning, a deadly explosion in the Halifax harbour shatters the city – and Clare is caught up in the blast. As Clare struggles to recover from her injuries, she stumbles upon the School of Art, where she finds solace in drawing, and a mentor who encourages Clare’s burgeoning artistic ambitions. But how can one be an artist when the whole world has gone mad? When her own city is half-destroyed? When she’s not sure if Leo will ever come home?

Dazzle Patterns is an unforgettable story about resilience, art, and the casualties of war, abroad and at home. With extraordinary vision and clarity, Alison Watt’s remarkable debut novel brings the past to life.


Alison Watt, author

Alison Watt is a writer and painter. She works and teaches out of her studio on Protection Island, near Nanaimo, BC, and leads workshops internationally (alisonwatt.ca). Originally a biologist, she has an MFA in creative writing and is the author of The Last Island: A Naturalist’s Sojourn on Triangle Island, winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, and Circadia, a poetry collection. Dazzle Patterns is her first novel.


  • Dazzle Patterns is a gorgeous and immersive read, the work of a great and generous talent. You must read this book. - Kevin Patterson, author of Notes from the Red Desert
  • This is the most honest depiction of recovery I have ever seen in a novel before… Dazzle Patterns is a story of hope and resilience and healing. - The Martlet
  • Dazzle Patterns won me over entirely, as you’ve probably noticed . . . its people and the streets they walk on became as vivid as the room I’m sitting in now. I loved this book, the art of its tapestry, all of it leading toward an ending that was absolutely perfect. - Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Freehand Books

email: kelsey@freehand-books.com

website: www.freehand-books.com

rights available: World, excl. Canada

Additional Information

number of pages: 340

publication date: 10/01/2017

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book