In her second novel, Mary Lawson returns to the fictional setting of her first – Crow Lake. The lake, in the far north of Canada, proves an apt metaphor for her narrative: ‘the silvery ever-moving surface hiding God knew what life-and-death struggles underneath, the long stretches of peacefulness that might or might not be broken at any moment by a burst of savage excitement’.
The savage excitements recounted are the most extreme experiences in the lives of two generations of a community. Lawson’s gift is to be able to make the stretches of peacefulness and hidden feeling just as mesmerising as the terrible disruptions.
Despite having the same setting, the canvas here is far wider