Lisa Moore's novel February is based on a real-life incident: the tragic sinking of the Ocean Ranger oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland on Valentine's Day in 1982, with the loss of all 84 aboard. A powerful portrait of grief and the difficulty of moving on, it's the story of Helen O'Mara, a woman shattered by the death of her husband, Cal, who was one of the crew members.
February is set 25 years after the tragedy, but Moore shifts the action back and forth in time to offer snapshots of important moments in Helen's life, from meeting Cal, the love of her life, in the 1970s, to the day of the tragedy, and to her present-day life as a grandmother of two.
February won Canada Reads 2013. It was defended by Trent McClellan.
Helen watches as the man touches the skate blade to the sharpener. There is a stainless steel cone to catch the spray of orange sparks that fly up. A deep grinding noise grows shrill and she thinks: Johnny is coming home.
From February by Lisa Moore ©2009. Published by House of Anansi.