A sweeping tale of personal courage in a distant Indigenous community, The Umbrella Mender is reminiscent of Stef Penney's The Tenderness of Wolves and Wayne Johnson's The Colony of Unrequited Dreams. It is destined to become a pivotal entry in the canon of northern literature.
Though a stroke has left her mute, the story Hazel has to share is unforgettable. As a talented nurse in the early 1950s, she went north to Moose Factory to help fight the epidemic of tuberculosis that was ravaging the indigenous people. Each week the boat brought new patients from the Nunavik region to the little hospital. It was a desperate undertaking, fraught with cultural and language difficulties that hampered the urgent, sometimes reckless, efforts of the medical staff. Hazel is soon distracted from the tensions of the hospital by an enigmatic drifter named Gideon White, an itinerant umbrella mender who has walked away from society, searching for the Northwest Passage. From her own hospital bed, the older Hazel struggles to pass to her grandniece the harrowing tale of her life in the north, including the fate of Gideon and the heartbreaking secrets she left behind.
With arresting characters, a richly drawn setting and impeccable prose, author Christine Fischer Guy weaves a story that lingers long after the book is closed.
Rights Holder: Shaun Bradley (Transatlantic Agency)
rights available: World, excl. English North America (Wolsak & Wynn)
age range: Adult
number of pages: 300
Original language of pub: English
Materials Available: finished book