With March comes two wonderful debuts: a collection of magical and strange short stories, and a dark and sweeping romance set in late eighteenth-century London.
Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis
Available: March 5
Anne Jaccob is coming of age in late eighteenth-century London, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. When she is taken advantage of by her tutor — a great friend of her father’s — and is set up to marry a squeamish snob named Simeon Onions, she begins to realize just how powerless she is in Georgian society. Anne is watchful, cunning, and bored.
Her saviour appears in the form of Fub, the butcher’s boy. Their romance is both a great spur and an excitement. Anne knows she is doomed to a loveless marriage to Onions and she is determined to escape with Fub and be his mistress. But will Fub ultimately be her salvation or damnation? And how far will she go to get what she wants?
Dark and sweeping, The Butcher’s Hook is a richly textured debut featuring one of the most memorable characters in fiction.
Double Dutch by Laura Trunkey
Available: March 26
Intensely imaginative and darkly emotional, the weird and wonderful stories in Double Dutch deftly alternate between fantasy and reality, transporting readers into worlds that are at once both familiar and uncanny — where animals are more human, and people more mysterious, than they first appear. Ronald Reagan’s body double falls in love with the first lady. A single mother believes her toddler is the reincarnation of a terrorist. A man grieves for his wife after a bear takes over her body. The collection also includes incredibly moving tales grounded in painful and touching reality: a young deaf girl visits Niagara Falls before she goes blind; an elephant named Topsy is killed on Coney Island by Thomas Edison in 1903; and a woman learns the truth about her son’s disappearance while searching with her husband in the Canadian Rockies.
This enchanting and, at times, heartbreaking collection of stories showcases the talent of one of the most exciting new voices in Canadian literature.