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The lyrical and deeply moving debut that staked Silver Slayter's claim as one of Canada's most promising young novelists
A remarkable novel about myth-making and survival, In the Land of Birdfishes opens in rural Nova Scotia, where twin sisters witness the death of their wild, beautiful mother. Their father, sick with grief, blindfolds them to shield them from the misery of the world. Left that way for years, each sister is scarred in her own way: Mara is rendered fully blind, Aileen partly so. When a neighbour discovers their condition, the girls are immediately separated for treatment.
It isn't until decades later, after Aileen's marriage has fallen apart, that she decides to seek out her lost sister. She heads to Dawson City, Yukon, where Mara is rumoured to be living, but she instead finds Mara's twenty-four-year-old son, Jason, a sullen gold miner with a reputation for violence and lies.
As the summer unfolds, Aileen slowly earns her nephew's trust and unravels the tangle of stories he tells her, unearthing at last the secret of what happened to her sister. Hypnotic, haunting and compelling, In the Land of Birdfishes builds inevitably to a shocking and heartbreaking conclusion.