His Whole Life

Elizabeth Hay

His Whole Life

Set in the mid-1990s, when Quebec is on the verge of leaving Canada, this captivating novel is an unconventional coming of age story as only Elizabeth Hay could tell it. It draws readers in with its warmth, wisdom, its vivid sense of place, its searching honesty and its nuanced portrait of the lives of one family and those closest to it. Hay explores the mystery of how members of a family can hurt each other so deeply, and remember those hurts in such detail, yet find openings that shock them with love and forgiveness. (From the publisher)


They were moving through beautiful country. The landscape opened up and closed in, opened up into valleys then closed in with mountains, but she was somewhere else now, on the back roads of the heart. Into view (dimming the green hills and valleys and turning them grey) came that article she had edited to make someone rich and successful look vain, poor slob; occasions when she had shaken her children and squeezed their young arms as hard as she could; abusive, scalding things she had said to her husbands, including the one beside her; and friends she had hurt. And then there was the secret she had kept. But whether that was a good thing or a bad thing, a best thing or a worst, she had never been able to fathom.

From His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay ©2015. Published by McClelland & Stewart.

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