1.2 x 8.5 x 6 Inches; 328 pages
An electrifying new novel by the #1 national bestselling, Scotiabank Giller Prize--winning author of The Time in Between. In 1973, outside of Kenora, Ontario, an eighteen-year-old Ojibway boy, Raymond Seymour, is taken by a local policeman to a remote island and left for dead. A year later, the Byrd family arrives in Kenora. They have come to the Retreat, a commune run by Doctor Murray. The Doctor is an enigmatic man who spouts bewildering truisms, and who bathes naked every morning in the pond at the edge of the Retreat while young Everett Byrd watches from the bushes. Lizzy, the eldest of the Byrd children, cares for her younger brothers Fish and William, and longs for what she cannot find at the Retreat. When Lizzy meets Raymond, everything changes, and Lizzy comes to understand the real difference between Raymond's world and her own. Set during the summer of the Ojibway occupation of Anicinabe Park in Kenora, The Retreat is a haunting, finely nuanced, deeply felt novel that reveals the clash of two cultures as it tells the story of the relationship of two brothers whose lives were separated in childhood, of the complicated love between a white girl and a native boy, of a family on the verge of splintering forever. A tragedy and a love story, the novel moves toward a conclusion that is both astonishing and heartbreaking. The Retreat is a brilliant portrait of a time and a place, whose conflicts and emotions are universally understood. It confirms Bergen's reputation as one of the country's most gifted and compelling writers.