Books·Canadian

A Good House

Bonnie Burnard's novel, which follows a man returning to his small town after the Second World War, won the Giller Prize in 1999.

Bonnie Burnard

Bill Chambers has come home from the Second World War with several fingers of his right hand missing but with his will to restore his family life intact. He wants the best for his wife, Sylvia, and his children, Patrick, Paul and Daphne. And with his steady job at the hardware store, the future stretches out before him. So opens Bonnie Burnard's superbly crafted novel about three generations of an ordinary small-town family from the 1950s to the 1990s. As the family members spread out from their community into the larger world, the bonds deepen, widen and sometimes fray. Loyalties are tested by time and chance, people resort to necessary, self-preserving lies, and love creates its own snares. (From HarperCollins)

A Good House won the Giller Prize in 1999.

From the book

The magnificent houses, the three old-money brick houses, each with a small turret and a wraparound porch, had been built uptown near the churches when the town was younger and smaller, before the Great War. The wraparound porches were there to hold rainy-day children and morning tea carts and quiet late-evening conversation, cosy, discreet conversation which could not easily take place in front rooms or kitchens or bedrooms, certainly not on the street.


From A Good House by Bonnie Burnard ©1999. Published by HarperCollins.