Crow Lake

Mary Lawson

Crow Lake

The Morrison family lives in Northern Ontario, in a town so small the only road leads south. It's a farming community, where choices -- personal and professional -- are few. The four children long to escape, but when tragedy strikes, doing so becomes impossible. A classic family saga, Crow Lake is a poetic and quietly satisfying novel that explores the tension between family duty and individual dreams.

Crow Lake won the 2003 Books in Canada First Novel Award.


"My great-grandmother Morrison fixed a book rest to her spinning wheel so that she could read while she was spinning, or so the story goes. And one Saturday evening she became so absorbed in her book that when she looked up, she found that it was half past midnight and she had spun for half an hour on the Sabbath day. Back then, that counted as a major sin.

I'm not recounting that little bit of family lore just for the sake of it. I've come to the conclusion recently that Great-Grandmother and her book rest have a lot to answer for. She'd been dead for decades by the time the events occurred that devastated our family and put an end to our dreams, but that doesn't mean she had no influence over the final outcome. What took place between Matt and me can't be explained without reference to Great-Grandmother. It's only fair that some of the blame should be laid at her door."

From Crow Lake by Mary Lawson ©2002. Published by Vintage Canada.