Starting with something as simple as a boy who wants a dog, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Hay's His Whole Life transports readers to an emotionally rich landscape populated by unforgettable characters, yet overshadowed by a sense of loss.
At the outset, ten-year-old Jim and his Canadian mother and American father are on a journey from New York City to a beautiful lake in eastern Ontario during the last hot days of August. Over the next few pivotal years of Jim's youth, the novel moves from city to country, summer to winter, well-being to illness, as it charts the deepening bond between mother and son, even as their small family starts to fall to pieces.
Set in the mid-1990s, when Quebec was on the verge of seceding from Canada, this captivating novel is an unconventional coming-of-age story that draws readers in with its warmth, wisdom, its vivid sense of place, its searching honesty, and nuanced portrait of the lives of a family and those closest to it.
Writing at the height of her powers, the award-winning Elizabeth Hay explores the mystery of how family members can wound each other so deeply, and remember those hurts in such detail, yet find surprising ways to make room for love, and even forgiveness.