The Innocents

The Innocents

Book - 2019 | First edition
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"A novel about an orphaned brother and sister who must fend for themselves on a remote fishing outpost in the late 1800s"-- Provided by publisher.
In the late 1800s, a brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland's northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by the feral ocean, by a relentless pendulum of abundance and scarcity. With nothing but the family's boat and the little knowledge passed on haphazardly by their mother and father, they survive years of meagre catches and storms and ravaging illness. It is their fierce loyalty to each other that motivates and sustains them. But as seasons pass and they wade deeper into the mystery of their own natures, even that loyalty will be tested. -- adapted from jacket
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780385545426
Call Number: FICTION CRUMMEY 2019
Characteristics: 290 pages ; 22 cm


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Dec 26, 2020

Beautifully written, heart wrenching story of the survival of young orphans in the harsh and remote Newfoundland coast.

Oct 10, 2020

Perfect! Bleak, but perfect!!

Jul 11, 2020

An old story in a new setting; popular fiction; for a general audience.

Jul 11, 2020

“A body must bear what can’t be helped.”
That stark epigram could well serve as an anthem, summing up the entire book in one fateful pronouncement.
As an unblinking portrait of what life was like in the bygone era of Newfoundland’s isolated outports, this novel stands convincingly beside Crummey’s “Sweetland”, which explores the government-imposed shuttering of those tiny settlements. So, while this is primarily an intimate slice-of-life tale about the precarious existence and trials of two quite remarkable young people, it’s also a glimpse into a bygone society.
Michael Crummey has a special ability to portray the most grippingly unpleasant, gritty and painful experiences in the bluntest terms imaginable without causing his reader to shrink away in horror or disgust. His characters are simply obliged to endure, and by his frankness and humanity, Crummey induces us to accept it all as simply the plain truth of the human condition and keep reading. There are no villains here, no sense of evil and if there’s injustice it’s only the injustice of fate. If misfortune befalls, it’s only that which our own lack of foresight or wisdom imposes, not the fruit of malevolence; his characters are often rough, clumsy, lacking in grace or learning but they are well-meaning. You will know them by their lights.
So in the end, there is hardship here, at times seemingly beyond human endurance but there is no tragedy because tragedy stems from a failure of the human spirit, a betrayal of one’s self. And in Michael Crummey’s world, the lamp of the human spirit burns bright.

Jul 03, 2020

Loved it!

Feb 05, 2020

This novel is set in the early 19th century in an isolated cove in Newfoundland. The description of daily life as these two children struggle to survive - fishing and salting cod, picking berries and trying to grow vegetables - is really excellent. However, the story of these two children as move through puberty is less engaging.

ontherideau Jan 06, 2020

Very well written, desperately bleak. I hope life wasn't really that bad, can't imagine how any one survived.

Dec 24, 2019

I finished approximately 50 pages before skimming ahead and reading the end.

I could not be interested in these characters, or their hum drum lives, or their isolation, or anything else.

Dec 13, 2019

Globe 100 2019. Two children orphaned and alone in Newfoundland. Listed for Giller and GG

Dec 10, 2019

A beautifully written book. All the words are important to tell the story of these two children growing up on their own. Eventually, the reader will get used to the vernacular used by the author.

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