The Roads of Go Home Lake
The Roads of Go Home Lake is the long-awaited sequel to Christina Kilbourne’s award winning debut novel Day of the Dog-Tooth Violets.
The Roads of Go Home Lake is a book of adult literary fiction, but is also appropriate for young adults. It takes an unflinching look at the generational effects of family violence, adult illiteracy, racism and poverty by weaving together the present-day life and childhood memories of Winnie St. Pierre.
Running from fear of prosecution and the threat of losing their children to child protection authorities, Winnie's parents whisk her and her baby brother from their small-town apartment to a deserted logging town in Muskoka. From that moment their lives change drastically and they are forced to rely on their knowledge of the land to survive. Their life in the bush is sometimes harsh and always isolated, but predictable and safe, until their past catches up with them.
As an adult living back in civilization, Winnie has extraordinary hunting and trapping skills, but little experience of the modern world. She is lost when she finds herself suddenly widowed with six children to support and no job prospects. It takes all of her strength to change her life, but she finds the courage to seek help from those around her. In reaching out, Winnie is able to face her past and reunite with her long-estranged family.
The Roads of Go Home Lake is a novel of heritage and blood, it is a novel of courage and healing, it is a novel of inner growth and universal hope.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to supporting victms of family violence and promoting literacy in First Nations communities across Canada.
Praise for The Roads of Go Home Lake
The Roads of Go Home Lake holds great surprises. Kilbourne is the only author other than James Bartleman to write with authority on native life in Ontario.
In The Roads of Go Home Lake, the inner strength, and personal growth of Winnie from abused daughter and wife to a self-sustaining confident person serves both as personal inspiration and reveals how the effects of generational violence, illiteracy and racism can be overcome. We learn how these cycles are broken as Winnie takes responsibility for her search for identity and healing. It is about “closing the circle” by bringing fractured families together, as well as breaking the cycles of violence, poverty and illiteracy.
Critics compare Kilbourne to Margaret Laurence for her ability to plot and to depict life in a small town. Go Home Lake is a small community in Muskoka and readers will discover the novel resonates with a number of real places in the area.
I found this book really easy to read and impossible to put down. I loved the main character and her inner strength. In the circumstances facing her, many would have made different choices but remarkably, Winnie always finds the courage to make the tougher choices in life and take a step towards finding answers she longs for and the healing she needs.... The author holds nothing back as we see the characters dealing with love, loss, regret, domestic abuse and a host of obstacles.
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