North of the 49th Parallel: Canadian Voices
Recommended by Barb, formerly a reference librarian in our Adult Department.
Check our other Fave Five lists, too!
This is my number one recommendation to friends and family. In prose so lyrical it will break your heart, Michaels tells the story of a 7-year-old Jewish orphan rescued by a Greek man who hides him throughout WWII and later "adopts" him. As they struggle to survive, they learn to heal each other's emotional wounds.
Set in the early part of the 20th century in Cape Breton, this is a tale of family secrets that centers on four sisters and their relationship with their father.
The term "fifth business" refers to a role in an opera, usually a supporting character who is essential to the plot but is not part of the main drama. Dunstan Ramsey plays this role as he narrates the story of Boy Staunton and the ripple effect of a stone loaded snowball thrown at the wrong person. Part of the Depford trilogy but can be read alone.
Better known for her novels such as The Handmaid's Tale and The Robber Bride, this is a collection of short stories that explore themes of loss and discovery and of the single moments that shape and define a whole life. In my opinion, it is her best work.
Much like the characters in Atwood's stories, Daisy Goodwill Flett is "a middle-class woman, a woman of moderate intelligence and medium size ego and average good luck." Shields compassionately explores the question of how we give meaning and significance to our ordinary, sometimes even small lives.